Ray Romano shot to stardom the 1990s when his sitcom, Everybody Loves Raymond, became a huge hit. For many years prior, the New York City-born performer was a struggling comedian just trying to make ends meet. Fortunately for the funnyman, he met a woman early on who stood by him while he was trying to jump-start his career. Here’s everything you need to know about Ray Romano’s wife, Anna, and their long marriage.
They Met While Working As Bank Tellers In The 1980s
Romano meet his wife, born Anna Scarpulla, in 1983 while they were both working at a bank. At the time, the wannabe comedian was juggling his full-time job with small stand-up gigs at local comedy clubs. While he was still struggling to make a living telling jokes, he made his co-workers at the bank laugh, especially Anna. “He kept the job funny and fun,” she told People magazine in 1996.
Despite the fact that Romano was still living at home with his parents, Anna was charmed enough by his sense of humor to start dating him. He did, however, wait to ask her out until after he left the bank job, so he wouldn’t have to work with her every day if she said no. “There was less pressure, because I could’ve sworn [her answer] was gonna be ‘no,’” Romano explained in a 2016 interview with Graham Bensinger. “My batting average wasn’t that good so, who knows…I don’t know that I was A-list material as far as far as a potential boyfriend/husband.”
Fortunately, Anna did say yes, and the pair eventually tied the knot in 1987. That same year, Romano decided to ditch his nine-to-five job and pursue standup full-time—and Anna was fully supportive through it all. “One of the secrets [to our marriage] is that there’s a lot of acceptance,” the funnyman said in a 2009 interview with Redbook magazine. “Anna would be just as happy with me if I were a plumber.”
They Share Four Children
The Romanos had their first child, Alexandra, on March 22, 1990. As a kid, she appeared a number of times on her dad’s show Everybody Loves Raymond and also voiced the role of Meghan in the 2012 animated movie Ice Age: Continental Drift. Now 32, Alexandra currently works as a senior brand manager for an advertising company. She also spent more than four years working as an executive assistant and a marketing and communications manager at Shondaland.
On January 13, 1993, Ray and Anna had twin sons, Gregory and Matthew. The identical brothers became a frequent subject of Romano’s standup act in the mid-’90s. “With identical twins you save money on photographs,” the comedian once joked. “This is my son, I got another one just like him.”
Now grown men, both twins have followed their dad’s footsteps into the entertainment world—though they prefer to stay behind the camera. Gregory currently works as a production assistant on The Late Late Show With James Corden while Matthew has worked behind the scenes on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Anna and Ray’s youngest child, Joseph, was born on February 16, 1998. While he hasn’t had as much work experience as his older siblings, he did lend his voice to the animated movie Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs in 2009.
Anna Doesn’t Mind Ray Joking About Her In His Act
Romano’s twin sons aren’t the only family members who have been featured prominently in his standup act. The Irishman star frequently jokes about the trials and tribulations of being a family man, which often includes jabs at his wife, Anna. Fortunately, Romano says she’s okay with it, especially since his brand of family-focused humor has made them millionaires. “I talk a lot about being married and being tired and not having sex. She’s fine with it. Whenever she has a problem, I tell her to go cry on a bag of money,” Romano joked in a 1997 interview with the Las Vegas Sun.
The Man of a Certain Age actor also says that he makes sure his family is cool with the jokes he plans to tell. “I’d never do anything they felt uncomfortable about,” he said in a 2019 interview with Time magazine. “My wife gives me a long leash; I have to give her credit. She knows it’s comedy, and she knows it pays.”
She Has Dipped Her Own Toes Into The Entertainment Industry
One of the reasons Anna may be so good at understanding the appeal of her husband’s comedy is because she’s no stranger to show business herself. Anna has her own resume of entertainment credits, including an appearance on the sixth season of Everybody Loves Raymond in an episode entitled “The Angry Family.”
She’s also appeared alongside her husband’s TV wife, Patricia Heaton, on an episode of the TV show Patricia Heaton Parties, and had a role in the short film Quand s’approfondit l’hiver, in 2010. In 2012, she worked as a cinematographer on another short film titled Because She’s Worth It, and in 2015 she served as a cinematographer on an episode of the series Class.
She Is A Cancer Survivor
Anna was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. The couple kept the diagnosis to themselves while she underwent treatment, which included four rounds of intense chemotherapy. In 2012, the pair decided to share their experience publicly to help others. “The reason we’re going public is to share our experience, yeah, but to have an effect,” Romano explained in a 2012 interview with People magazine. “Our goal is to help people…We dodged a bullet. Now we want to give back.”
As a long-time wife and mother of four, Anna admitted that it was hard to learn how to put herself first and prioritize her own heath. “I take on everybody’s stress, but this had to be all about me,” she admitted to People. “I’m not like that!”
She also shared how difficult is was to lose her hair as a result of undergoing chemotherapy. “I’m already shy and the last thing I wanted to do was walk around bald,” she admitted.
Fortunately, Anna made a full recovery and remains cancer-free today.