'Everybody Loves Raymond' star Doris Roberts dies at 90

Doris Roberts, who played the tart-tongued, endlessly meddling Marie Barone on "Everybody Loves Raymond," has died, a family spokeswoman said. She was 90.

Roberts died overnight in her sleep, spokeswoman Janet Daily said Monday. Daily was told of the death by Roberts' son, Michael Cannata.

The cause of death was not immediately known. Roberts had been healthy and active, Daily said.

Last month, Roberts appeared at an actors' union event that focused on the scarcity of female directors in entertainment. She asked the panel why there were so few roles for elder actors.

Roberts won four Emmy Awards for her work on "Raymond," receiving a total of seven nominations as best supporting actress for the sitcom.

Actor Ray Romano, who co-starred with Roberts on the CBS show, said in a statement Monday that she "had an energy and a spirit that amazed me. She never stopped.

"Whether working professionally or with her many charities, or just nurturing and mentoring a young, green comic trying to make it as an actor, she did it all with such a grand love for life and people and I will miss her dearly."

Actress Patricia Heaton, who portrayed Roberts' daughter-in-law, posted her remembrances on Twitter.

"We loved our mom, the great #DorisRoberts. A wonderful, funny, indelible actress and friend," Phil Rosenthal, the show's producer, posted on his Twitter account.

The sitcom, which aired from 1996 to 2005, also starred Brad Garrett and Peter Boyle, who played Roberts' husband Frank Barone. Boyle died in 2006.

Comedian Denis Leary tweeted that Roberts "made me laugh so hard so many times. (hash)everybodylovesmarie."

Roberts also was known for her role in the 1980s TV detective series "Remington Steele." She appeared on stage and in a variety of movies, including "The Rose," "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three" and "Madea's Witness Protection."

But it was the hugely successful "Everybody Loves Raymond" that "put my career over the top," Roberts told The Associated Press as the show wrapped its run.

Roberts, then 79, fretted openly about what she would do next. "Who knows after this? Nobody writes for older people," she said.

Yet her list of TV and movie credits continued to grow, with projects from 2015, including the TV movie "Merry Kissmas," and others slated to be released this year.

Roberts was born Nov. 4, 1925, in St. Louis and grew up in New York, Daily said.

The actress began her stage career on Broadway in the 1950s, amassing credits that eventually included Neil Simon's "The Last of the Red Hot Lovers" and Terrence McNally's "Bad Habits."

In early TV appearances, she was seen in episodes of "Studio One," "The Naked City" and "The Defenders."

Roberts received her first Emmy Award in 1983, for her supporting role on the series "St. Elsewhere." She received a total of 11 nominations for her TV work overall, including her bids for "Raymond."

An enthusiastic cook, Roberts co-wrote "Are You Hungry, Dear? Life, Laughs, and Lasagna," a memoir with recipes, in 2005.

Besides her son, she is survived by her daughter-in-law, Jane, and three grandchildren, Kelsey, Andrew, and Devon Cannata.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.