Ray Romano

In his early days as a stand-up comic, Ray Romano won over audiences with his New York accent and his deadpan delivery of domestic humor and observations. When he translated that accessible, everyday-guy persona into a sitcom, he made television history with "Everybody Loves Raymond" (CBS, 1996-2005), one of the best-loved, most critically acclaimed sitcoms of the era. A Top 10 ratings earner for over half of its nine-year run, the show's success was rooted in its outstanding ensemble cast and its relatable focus on the minutiae of family life, with adults taking center stage. The show transformed Romano into one of the top TV stars of the day, with a best-selling memoir and a Grammy-nominated comedy album to complete the picture. When he ventured out onto the big screen, however, it was hit-or-miss, with several failed attempts at buddy comedies and darker independent films but blockbuster success arrived in the shape of Manny, the wooly mammoth who Romano amusingly voiced in the animated "Ice Age" franchise. In the wake of nearly a decade spent on the CBS sitcom he created, Romano branched out in 2009 with another primetime project, "Men of a Certain Age" (TNT, 2009-11). The hourlong comic drama proved that Romano could ably inhabit less autobiographical material than his previous hit, yet still draw in audiences with his intensely likable persona and timeless wit.