TODAY

TODAY   |  March 27, 2014

Doris Roberts: Jean Stapleton stole my roles

The funny Doris Roberts is known for her sassy role as Raymond’s mom on “Everyone Loves Raymond,” and now the 88-year-old actress shows off a softer side in a new “Little Rascals” comedy. She reveals that the talented Jean Stapleton beat her out for a few jobs in her career.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> no, it is a different fruit every month.

>> every month?

>> yes, yes. that's why they call it fruit of the month club.

>> it is a club? what do i do with all the fruit?

>> most people like it, ma. you share it. share it with all your friends.

>> which friends?

>> i don't know. lee and sam.

>> lee and sam buy their own fruit.

>> get rid of --

>> why did you do this to me?

>> oh, my god.

>> there is too much fruit in the house!

>> that is why we fell in love with her as the no nonsense matriarch marie barone on the hugely popular and still is tv show " everybody loves raymond ," a role that earned her four of her five emmies.

>> you can find doris robert opens ts on the big screenplaying an endearing mother who needs to raise money to save her bakery from closing and she gets help from seven mischievous kids in "the little rascals save the day."

>> unlike some movies, i'm thrilled it is coming back. how are you?

>> i'm good.

>> you're playing such a sweet person. i kind of like the change.

>> she had to audition.

>> i got the part.

>> is that fun playing this type of role?

>> great. those kids are incredible.

>> whole new generation, talented kids.

>> really talented and professional. it was a joy to work with them.

>> really?

>> yeah.

>> isn't that sweet? when you get a script, because you don't have to audition, obviously anymore. do you think to yourself, i see why they sent this to me, i see what they're seeing, or have you ever been wrong about a script and you turned it down and somebody went off to make a big hit out of it?

>> yeah. yes.

>> you know what i'm talking about? meryl streep took a few of your roles --

>> no, but jean stapleton did.

>> she did.

>> never liked her.

>> oh!

>> just kidding.

>> she was so terrific.

>> awesome.

>> you look at those " everybody loves raymond " clips, that was for nine seasons. that must have been such a great time in your life.

>> fabulous time, still is. it is 171 countries in the world.

>> you're kidding me.

>> every language.

>> why do you think it translated all over the globe.

>> it is real. everything happened to one of the writers. there is a time the house gets painted, i get painted with it. that happened.

>> you were like a family.

>> yeah.

>> you don't have to work.

>> no, i love working. yeah, i love working.

>> tell us why?

>> for instance, with the rascals, " little rascals " began with the gang in the '20s. in the '50s it became "the little rascals ." we took one of the old stories and did it anew. and it is the greatest kids they found. they look just like the original ones. they're very professional. they love working. and i loved working with them.

>> is there a dog?

>> of course pety's there. of course.

>> all the kids and animals.

>> i play a sweet, sweet grandma.

>> here's the thing. she's working with kids and animals, guess what those kids are working with? doris roberts .

>> hello.

>> yes.

>> one day they will realize what an unbelievable blessing that was.

>> i hope so.

>> probably not yet.

>> thank you.

>> all righty, so little rascals is coming up soon? available on dvd and blue ray april 1st .

>> absolutely.

>> what's next?

>> who knows? in this business, who knows?

>> send this woman a script.