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Raymond Romano (born December 21, 1957 in Queens, New York) is an Emmy Award-winning and Golden Globe-nominated, American actor and comedian best known for his starring role on the sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond." His other notable roles include Manfred "Manny" the Mammoth ("Ice Age, Ice Age: The Meltdown, Ice Age: A New Beginning (Ice Age 3) ") and Handy Harrison (Welcome to Mooseport).
Romano, an Italian American, was born in Queens, New York to Albert and Lucie Romano. Romano attended elementary and middle school in Forest Hills, Queens, at Our Lady of Mercy School. After transferring from Archbishop Molloy High School, Romano graduated from Hillcrest High School in 1975. He was in the same high school class as Fran Drescher and later appeared on Drescher's sitcom The Nanny as an old classmate. Before breaking into show business, Romano briefly attended Queens College in Flushing, New York, and had planned to become an accountant.
Romano started his career appearing on many outlets including Comedy Central, where he had been a recurring guest voice on the show Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist. His material on that series was considerably more risqué than in his own series. He also was a contestant on Star Search in the stand-up comedy category. He was originally cast to play "Joe" on the American television sitcom NewsRadio, but was fired, to be replaced by Joe Rogan. It was revealed that his particular brand of verbal comedy did not mix well with the fast-paced wit of the rest of the cast. Shortly thereafter, he would become the star of his own show, Everybody Loves Raymond, that featured a cast and format more suitable to Romano's brand of humor.
Romano also helped close friend and fellow comedian Kevin James get into show business. In 1998, James received his own hit sitcom,The King of Queens. The two would later reunite in the salesman comedy Grilled, as two guys of the same profession who are both very desperate to land a big sale.
Romano was featured on a 2000 episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, on which he won US$125,000 for the NYPD's D.A.R.E. Unit.
In 2001, he was named one of E!'s top twenty entertainers of the year. In the same year, he was featured with his brother (a sergeant in the NYPD) on a New York Police Department recruiting poster.
In 2004, he became the highest paid television actor in history for his role of Raymond on CBS's Everybody Loves Raymond; his salary in 2004 was $50,000,000. It was later revealed on E! that he had broken another record by his show having the highest revenue, at US$3.9 billion.
On December 13, 2003, he was featured as a special guest star, sending a birthday card to Bob Barker in his eightieth-birthday bash on the seventh "Million Dollar Spectacular" special of the long-running daytime CBS series The Price Is Right.
Romano was the subject of the documentary film 95 MILES TO GO. The film documents Romano's return to stand up comedy as he hits the road for a series of gigs across the South. The film was released in theaters on April 7, 2006 by ThinkFILM .
In August of 2006, Romano was interviewed in front of a live audience at UCLA by fellow stand-up veteran, David Steinberg, for an episode of Sit Down Comedy with David Steinberg. The program first aired on the TV Land network in March 2007.
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