Doris Roberts: Monty Brinton

''Raymond'' plagued by sick cast. With costar Brad Garrett on strike, two cast members called in sick on Monday -- but returned on Tuesday

August 19, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

The set of ”Everybody Loves Raymond” must be a stressful workplace these days: As Brad Garrett continues his strike for higher pay, other cast members keep falling ill. Both Peter Boyle and Doris Roberts called in sick on Monday, only to return on Tuesday. Reps for both performers insisted they were genuinely sick — Roberts with a hurt leg that had her returning to the set in a wheelchair, and Boyle with either a cold or an adverse reaction to an unspecified prescription medication. ”It’s a coincidence,” the actors’ reps each told, denying that their clients’ absences had anything to do with Garrett’s effort.

Patricia Heaton was the first cast member to call in sick in the wake of Garrett’s absence — she was out last week, delaying the season’s start of production until her return on Monday, according to the Hollywood Reporter. A spokesperson for CBS says the network isn’t sure when Garrett might return to the show. But if the plague of illnesses continues, maybe the network will consider a crossover with NBC’s ”ER.”

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