Here's what the entertainment world will miss about the versatile acting veteran

By Ray Romano
Updated December 22, 2006 at 05:00 AM EST

Ray Romano remembers Peter Boyle

OCT. 18, 1935-DEC. 12, 2006

When he came to meet me and [Everybody Loves Raymond creator] Phil Rosenthal for the part of Frank Barone, he got lost on the lot. And it was raining. So he wasn’t in the greatest mood. Perfect for the role — though I became kind of scared of him. Here was this movie star, and here I am, the stupid guy, doing my stupid show. But he was just the opposite. He rented an apartment that was, coincidentally, in my building. We became buddies. He took me to Lakers games. We’d rehearse on weekends. He’s a man who could talk about anything. As a monk, he once took a vow of silence. John Lennon was best man at his wedding! He could have these discussions with Patty Heaton about world religion and politics. But he knew that wasn’t me, so he’d dumb it down so we could hang out together. He connected with everyone. He became a mentor, and as neurotic as I am, as much as I hate myself, I can honestly say I felt his friendship. (Boyle died from multiple myeloma and heart disease in New York City.)