Ray 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 that same year.
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 very 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.
After being nominated in 1999, 2000, and 2001, Romano won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series in 2002. Ray 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). Ray recently won a People's Choice Award for Favorite Male TV Performer 2004, 2003, 2002), a TV Guide Award for Actor of the Year in a Comedy Series (2001), the 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). Ray's comedy album "Live at Carnegie Hall," was nominated for Best Spoken Comedy Album at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards (2002). "Everybody Loves Raymond" won an Emmy Award in 2003 and 2005 for Outstanding Comedy Series.
Ray is also the author of the New York Times best-selling book based on his comedy, "Everything And A Kite." He has also written a children's book along with his brothers, Richard and Robert, entitled, "Raymie, Dickie, and the Bean: Why I Love and Hate My Brothers," released in March 2005.
He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and four children.