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Is Patricia Heaton ‘America’s Mom’?

Posted By Bill Newcott On May 7, 2014 @ 4:14 pm In Entertainment | Comments Disabled

mfg_logo_63x75 [1]You might call Patricia Heaton [2] “America’s  Mom”:

She played the harried mom of three kids (including twins) for nine years on Everybody Loves Raymond.

She has starred for five years as the hanging-by-a-thread mom on The Middle.

And now she’s on the big screen as the flummoxed mom of a teenage girl in the new comedy Moms’ Night Out.

So, Patricia Heaton must really like playing mothers, right? Well, yes, but that comes with a caveat:

“Let me clear up a misconception about actors having choices,” she laughs. “I’m really not making choices so much as taking jobs so I can put my kids through college. I get one call a year – ‘You ought to do this job’ – and I usually say yes, because we have bills to pay.”

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Andrea Logan White, Sarah Drew, Patricia Heaton and Sammi Hanratty costar in Moms' Night Out. [4]

Andrea Logan White, Sarah Drew, Patricia Heaton and Sammi Hanratty star in Moms’ Night Out.

Surely that can’t be true. This is a woman who’s been nominated for seven Emmy Awards [5], and won twice. And she’s one of the most universally liked people in show business. Those meaty scripts must be stacked high on her kitchen table, right?


“It’s a tough business,” she insists. “Raymond sort of established me as a mom, and Hollywood loves to figure out who an actor is and then keep putting them in that role.

“After Raymond I did a brief show with Kelsey Grammer [6] (Back to You), and The Middle was the next call I got. Frankly, I wasn’t excited about doing another mom. I thought, ‘Really? I just did this for nine years. This is not a challenge for me.’

“But then I read the script , and saw that it was very different. In fact, my character Frankie Heck is sort of the Raymond Barone of The Middle: Like Ray, she’s the one who keeps messing up, who keeps trying to do things right and things keep blowing up in her face. So it’s different, even though I’m a mom again.”

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Alex Kendrick plays Patricia Heaton's husband in Moms' Night Out. [8]

Alex Kendrick plays Patricia Heaton’s husband in Moms’ Night Out.

Heaton, who plays the wife of a minister in Moms’ Night Out, says it’s mostly coincidental that both of her famous TV families are also churchgoers (The Barones were Catholic, the Hecks are Protestant – and both shows have gotten a lot of mileage out of the families’ failure to display model congregational behavior.)

But Heaton, herself a professing Christian, says the sheer novelty of a TV or movie family practicing its faith doesn’t speak well for Hollywood’s assumptions about real people.

“Those shows – and now Moms’ Night Out – really reflect where a very big percentage of people in this country are coming from,” she says. “Most people have some kind of spiritual life [9] that’s very important to them. But that’s mostly absent from the characters you see in film and on television.”

So, keeping that in mind – along with Heaton’s sad image of the actress waiting for a call – if she could pick up the phone and demand any role she wanted, what would it be?

“I’d like to be a zombie [10] on The Walking Dead,” she declares.

Knowing Hollywood, they’d insist she be a zombie mom.


Photos: Saeed Adyani / Sony Pictures Entertainment


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Article printed from AARP: http://blog.aarp.org

URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2014/05/07/is-patricia-heaton-americas-mom/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/mfg_logo_63x75.jpg

[2] Patricia Heaton: http://tinyurl.com/mfg-patricia-heaton

[3] >> Sign up for the AARP Leisure Newsletter: http://www.aarp.org/online-community/people/subscribeFromEmail.action?id=28336&intcmp=ILC-EMAIL-SUB-LISR

[4] Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/MNO-3671-1.jpg

[5] Emmy Awards: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/09/23/jeff-daniels-michael-douglas-sexy-sexegenarians-highlights-of-this-years-post-emmy-win-chats-with-the-stars/

[6] Kelsey Grammer: http://www.aarp.org/entertainment/television/info-08-2011/look-whos-back-on-tv.2.html?intcmp=AE-BLIL-DOTORG

[7] >> Get entertainment and dining discounts with your AARP Member Advantages.: http://discounts.aarp.org/savings/discounts/dining-andamp;-entertainment/uSource/HCTN/categoryId/724/subCategoryId/725?intcmp=AE-BL-ENT-DISC

[8] Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Moms-Night-Out-Kitchen.jpg

[9] spiritual life: http://www.aarp.org/personal-growth/spirituality-faith/info-11-2008/mystery_of_miracles.html?intcmp=AE-BLIL-DOTORG

[10] zombie: http://blog.aarp.org/2011/05/31/prepare-for-zombies-and-other-emergencies-courtesy-of-the-cdc/?intcmp=AE-BLIL-BL

[11] Monica Lewinsky: Victim of an Outdated Double Standard: http://blog.aarp.org/2014/05/06/monica-lewinsky-victim-of-an-outdated-double-standard/?intcmp=AE-ENDART1-BL-REL

[12] You Won’t Believe What They Found on Colonoscopy Instruments: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/06/12/colonoscopy-instruments-putting-people-at-hepatitis-and-infection-risk/?intcmp=AE-ENDART2-BL-BOS

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