Ray Romano is best known to audiences as the star of the popular television series Everybody Loves Raymond. Romano admits that he always knew he could make his friends laugh, but he never really gave stand-up comedy any serious thought until one fateful open-mic night at a New York comedy club in 1984. He did well, the bug bit hard, and Romano was smitten. After stints at odd jobs, including futon mattress delivery boy and bank teller by day, and journeyman comedian by night, he decided to leave the 9-5 ranks and pursue comedy full-time, eventually winning a stand-up comedy competition sponsored by a major New York radio station.
Following that success, he continued to regularly appear at comedy clubs throughout the country, leading to appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and then with Jay Leno. He was eventually invited to appear on Late Night with David Letterman. That night, Letterman, recognizing something unique in Romano's persona, offered him a development deal with his production company, Worldwide Pants. Through that association, the CBS hit Everybody Loves Raymond was born.
Romano performed at the White House Correspondents Dinner for President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore and headlined the Toyota Comedy Festival at Carnegie Hall. He hosted Saturday Night Live and appeared on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, winning $125,000 for charity. Romano's additional television credits include HBO Comedy Half-Hour: Ray Romano, The HBO 15th Annual Young Comedians Special and Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist.
Romano made his big screen debut as the voice of Manny the wooly mammoth in the Twentieth Century Fox smash hit Ice Age. He will next be seen in the independent feature Eulogy with Winona Ryder, Debra Winger, Hank Azaria and Rip Torn.
After being nominated for Emmy Awards in 1999, 2000, and 2001, Romano won for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series in 2002. Romano has also been nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Comedy Series (2000 and 2001), a Screen Actor's Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series (2000), a People's Choice Award for Favorite Male TV Performer (2000, 2001, 2003), and an AFI Actor of the Year Award for Male in a Series (2002).
Romano recently won People's Choice Awards for Favorite Male TV Performer (2003 and 2002), a TV Guide Award for Actor of the Year in a Comedy Series (2001), Funniest Male Lead in a TV Series at the 14th Annual American Comedy Awards (2000), and the Television Critics Association Award For Outstanding Individual Achievement in Comedy (1999). His comedy album Live at Carnegie Hall, was nominated for Best Spoken Comedy Album at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards (2002).
He is the author of The New York Times best-selling book based on his comedy, Everything and a Kite.
When Ray Romano is not in production on Everybody Loves Raymond or playing golf, he continues to tour the country doing stand-up comedy.