Patricia Heaton – Actress

American born actress and producer Patricia is best known for playing a hassled mother Frankie Heck in the long running TV series The Middle. She also played the part of Debra Barone in all 209 episodes of the acclaimed TV sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond from 1996 to 2005.

Patricia is a devout Christian. She says,

I was raised Catholic and I’m Presbyterian now, but I’ve always been a Christian regardless of denomination. I believe that Jesus is the way.”

Humble Beginnings

Patricia’s acting career began when she attended Ohio State University. She studied drama and after wards moved to New York. Her career really took off when she was touring in Los Angeles and was spotted by the casting director of ABC TV series Thirtysomething. She appeared in six episodes as an oncologist. From there she went on to appear in Alien Nation, Matlock, Party of Five (with fellow believer Lacey Charbert), The King of Queens and Danny Phantom. She has since appeared in over thirty TV series or films. She won two Emmy awards playing the longsuffering wife Debra in Everybody Loves Raymond.

in 2006 Patricia was one of the producers of the film Amazing Grace which starred Ioan Gruffudd as William Wilberforce and won the Christopher Award for the best film of the year. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2012.

Married to British actor David Hunt, Patricia has four sons. Their busy schedule means that patricia and David divide their time between Los Angeles and Buckinghamshire.

Faith in Jesus Christ is central to Patricia’s life and has been since she was at school. She relates an incident where she was “trash talking” another girl at school, only to realise that the girl could hear her. She says,

I knew then that I was not a good person. This girl never did anything to me. I realised then I was a sinful person. I realised that is why Jesus died.”

Patricia and her family attend a Presbyterian church in Los Angeles.  She likes the way the bible is taught in the Presbyterian church but still holds dear the foundations she learned from the Catholic church as she grew up.

Trusting in God

To some extent, her faith has alienated her from the largely secular Hollywood culture and has cost her a number of acting jobs, but she is adamant that we need to trust God in all circumstances and to put Him before career options.

My feeling is all things come from God and as long as I know I’m staying in line with Him, I don’t have to worry if there is backlash. God will open any doors he wants to open and if He closes doors that’s fine too!

Patricia believes that Christians need to stand up for what is right and Biblical. She is not afraid to speak out and is supportive of groups opposing abortion, euthanasia and the death penalty. 



Story by Ralph Burden

Patricia’s autobiography, Motherhood and Hollywood: How to Get a Job Like Mine was published in 2002 and is available from Amazon and most high street book stores.





Feature photo:Patricia Heaton in 2021.  Attribution: (i) Creative Commons share alike 2.0 generic (ii) Creative Commons share alike 3.0 generic

Photo 2: Photo by Angela George showing Patricia Heaton at a ceremony to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2012. Creative Commons share alike 3.0 Unported.

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