Pageantry Magazine (Fall Edition 2000)

Pageantry Magazine
(Fall Edition 2000, pp. 12-14)

by Lisa Nees

Eight-year-old Madylin Sweeten stars as Ally Barone, the precocious yet adorable daughter of actor-comedian Ray Romano on CBS's hit comedy Everybody Loves Raymond. As most of you know, the show airs on Monday nights at 9:00p.m.

For those of you who haven't yet had the good fortune of being entertained by this terrific comedy going into its fifth season, Everybody Loves Raymond is a family-oriented show starring comedian Ray Romano as sportswriter Ray Barone. The show is about his life with his wife Debra (played by Patricia Heaton), daughter Ally (Madylin), twin sons Michael and Geoffrey (played by Madylin's real-life twin brothers Sawyer & Sullivan Sweeten), and Ray's parents and older brother who live across the street.

Everybody Loves Raymond

During a taping break, Madylin plays with her real life twin brothers Sawyer and Sullivan Sweeten who play Michael and Geoffrey Barone.

According to Madylin, Ally is a complex character to portray. In one episode, for instance, Ally completely misbehaves. "Mom" and "Dad" take a parenting class, but when their new techniques are applied to Ally, they don't work until different elements unfold throughout the episode. Playing Ally, however, isn't difficult for Madylin, because she has plenty of "showbiz" experience.

Interestingly enough, Madylin got her start in local pageants in Brownwood, Texas. In only 18 months, she captured over 40 trophies including the national title "Our Little Miss."

History in Pageants

"She would win and win," explains her mom. "She would talk to the judges, while the other kids were pretty shy." Her loquacious personality paid off when, at the age of four, Madylin made her television debut in the CBS film A Promise To Carolyn, starring Delta Burke (Miss Florida '74). Madylin played a young version of Delta Burke and had to dye her hair black for the part.

After successfully completing the movie, Madylin and her mother returned to Los Angeles for pilot season where she was quickly hired by executives to play the role of Ally in Everybody Loves Raymond. Madylin has also appeared in many commercials, including Welchs, McDonalds, and Kelloggs. Madylin's showbiz' career doesn't stop there though. In a Warner Brother's film called A Dog of Flanders (which opened in August of last year), Madylin starred in a leading role opposite celebrities Jon Voight, Jason Robards, and Cheryl Ladd. The movie was shot on location in Belgium where she played "Aloise," the best friend of Nello, a young orphan in the early 1800s. Madylin also co-starred in the Fox Family Channel's The Christmas Path.

Madylin's favorite part of show business is getting dressed up for the award shows. This past November, she was invited to be a presenter at the Hollywood Reporter Young Star Awards. She received the invitation after receiving 1998 and 1999 Young Star Award nominations for "Best Actress in a Television Comedy Series."

Madylin has also been nominated (along with her co-stars) for "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series," for the Fifth Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards! Other widely recognized presenters were Jake Lloyd (The Phantom Menace), Ryan Merriman (The Pretender), and Larisa Oleynik (3rd Rock From the Sun). The young actress received even more recognition when she was featured in People magazine's October 11, 1999, issue.


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