Sunday, December 03, 2006

Marie Barone (Doris Roberts)

The very intrusive mother of Raymond and Robert, and wife to Frank, Marie is an Italian-American housemom who excels in cooking, cleaning, and other things dealing with keeping a good home and bringing up a nurturing and caring family.

Except for Frank, everyone in the family has a hard time standing up to Marie because of her guilt-tripping, especially Debra. In addition to being a profound worrier, one of Marie's trademark acts is to be outwardly helpful and sweet, but in the most passive-agressive, insulting way, especially with her daughter-in-law. Marie often barges into Debra's house and gives her cooking and cleaning tips, despite having never been asked. Whenever something smells strange, she'll immediately ask if Debra is cooking anything. Marie also criticizes Debra's housekeeping and often rewashes all of the clothes and vacuums the house even though Debra has already done it. Being overly sensitive, Marie at one point refused to speak to Debra for weeks, which resulted in several episodes interlocking with each other because of it.

Beyond this, Marie smothers Raymond and is generally neglectful to Robert: when asked where Robert was when she fed baby Ray, she mumbled "I dunno". She does outrageous and often insane things to Ray and defends this by claiming she does it "out of love". Several of her actions have had a traumatizing effect on Ray's psyche, such as reading his childhood journal and complaining to Ray about Frank's behavior on a weekly basis when he was young. Although these actions are met with extreme outrage from Ray, these also hurt Robert who wonders why she didn't do any of them to him (even if she did something wrong).

In addition to Marie's typically insulting way of being nice, she also has a history of making matters worse, usually by blowing small matters out of proportion. One of the worst mistakes she ever made was accidentally backing her car into Ray and Debra's home. Another was standing up to object at Robert's wedding, to ensure he was marrying Amy for love, and not because he felt pressured to do so.

Marie and Frank live at 319 Fowler in Lynbrook. There actually is a Fowler Avenue in the town, but the addresses do not go that high. The houses used for the exterior shots of the two Barone households are really across the street from each other but actually are located in North Merrick.