But her casting as Debra Barone almost didn’t happen, “Raymond” creator Phil Rosenthal said.
“CBS wanted someone hotter to play Debra,” Rosenthal told Yahoo in a story published Wednesday.
“I almost quit the show over it,” he said.
Before Heaton entered the picture, the network pushed another actor on him whom he considered “10 times worse for the part than I thought she would be!” when she briefly read for him.
Rosenthal said he eventually was able to convince then-CEO Les Moonves and other network executives to let him keep looking for the right actor.
“Two weeks later, Patty walked in and within 5 minutes she had the part,” he said to Yahoo. “When it’s right, it’s right, and you know it immediately.”
“Everybody Loves Raymond” ran on CBS from 1996 to 2005. Heaton later starred on another long-running sitcom, ABC’s “The Middle” from 2009 to 2018, and the short-lived “Carol’s Second Act” on CBS.
CBS did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.