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Ray Romano

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Ray Romano admits that he always knew he could make his friends laugh, but he never really gave standup comedy any serious thought until one fateful open-mike night at a New York comedy club in l984. He did well, the bug bit hard, and Romano was smitten. After several odd jobs, including futon mattress delivery boy by day and journeyman comedian by night, he decided to pursue comedy full time, eventually winning a standup comedy competition that same year.

Following that success, Romano's regular appearances at comedy clubs throughout the country led to guest spots on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," then with Jay Leno, and finally on CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman," where host David Letterman recognized his talent and offered him a development deal with his production company, Worldwide Pants Incorporated. From that association, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND evolved.

Romano has since performed at the White House Correspondents Dinner, headlined the Toyota Comedy Festival at New York's Carnegie Hall, guest hosted "Saturday Night Live", appeared (and won $125,000 for charity) on "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire," and appeared on the Grammy Awards.

For his role in EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, he was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1999 as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and for Best Performance by an Actor in a Comedy at the Golden Globe Awards. He was nominated this year for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series by the Screen Actors Guild, for the TV Guide Favorite Actor in a Comedy Award, and for the People's Choice Award for Favorite Male TV Performer. He won the Funniest Male Lead in a TV Series at the 14th Annual American Comedy Awards and the 1999 Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Comedy. He also won Best Actor, Quality Comedy, from the Viewers for Quality Television in l998.

He is the author of the book "Everything and a Kite," based on his comedy. Romano, who is originally from Forest Hills, N.Y., now lives with his wife and four children in Los Angeles. His birth date is Dec. 21.

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