Patricia Helen Heaton (born March 4, 1958) is an American actress, model and comedian. Popular in highly rated sitcom television, Heaton is best known for her starring roles as Debra Barone in the CBS sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond (1996–2005) as well as Frances “Frankie” Heck on the ABC sitcom The Middle (2009–2018).

Heaton is a three-time Emmy Award winner – twice winning the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Everybody Loves Raymond, and a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Culinary Program as host of Patricia Heaton Parties (2015–2016).

Patricia Heaton was born in Bay Village, Ohio, the daughter of Patricia (née Hurd) and Chuck Heaton, who was a sportswriter for The Plain Dealer. When she was 12, her mother died of an aneurysm. The fourth of five children, Heaton was raised as a devout Catholic.

Heaton has three sisters, Sharon (now a Dominican nun, and presently assistant registrar at Aquinas College in Nashville), Alice, and Frances, and one brother, Michael, who is the “Minister of Culture” columnist for The Plain Dealer and a writer for the paper’s Friday Magazine.

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