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CNN Larry King Live

Remembering Peter Boyle; Update on Missing Mountain Climbers

Aired December 13, 2006 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight exclusive, Ray Romano and his "Everybody Loves Raymond" co-stars remember Peter Boyle who died tragically last night of cancer at 71. Ray Romano, Brad Garrett and Doris Roberts, sharing special memories of their friend and co-star in their exclusive first interview. And then three climbers lost atop Oregon's highest mountain. Last heard from on Sunday when one called on his cell phone reporting trouble, saying the others had gone for help. And now searchers are in a desperate race against time battling blinding snowstorms to find them before it's too late. We'll talk to the brother and a long-time friend of one of the missing climbers. It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Good evening and welcome to a sad edition of LARRY KING LIVE. A wonderful man, a great talent passed away today, Peter Boyle died in New York City from myeloma and heart disease, he was 71 years old. He, of course, was featured as the father on "Everybody Loves Raymond" one of the most successful sitcoms in television history. And three of the members of that cast are with us tonight. Ray Romano who played Raymond in "Everybody Loves Raymond" and he was the son of Ray Barone, Peter Boyle's character. Brad Garrett who played Frank Barone's other son Robert. And in New York Doris Roberts, for nine seasons she was Marie to Peter Boyle's Frank on "Everybody Loves Raymond." Patricia Heaton who played the wife of Ray Raymond is doing a play, could not be with us but issued a statement. Patricia said, "Peter was an incredible man who made all of us who had the privilege of working with him aspire to be better actors. He was loved by everyone that knew him and loved by many fans who cherish this talent." Did you know he was ill, Ray?

RAY ROMANO: Yeah, I visited him three times in the hospital in the last three months I had gone to New York. Actually once in his house and for the last two months he had spent time in the hospital. So he was ill, yeah, I mean, this is still a shock but he -- he was struggling at the end a little bit.

KING: Did he know he was very sick?

ROMANO: Yeah, I mean, the last couple of months he did because it had gotten -- it had gotten pretty bad the last couple months.

KING: What is myeloma?

ROMANO: I believe it's a type of blood cancer. I mean, I'm not sure exactly, you know, all about it. But it's a type of blood cancer. And he was also ill. He had a heart attack during "Raymond" so he also was struggling with heart disease. But, yeah, towards the end, I mean, yeah, he was struggling. KING: Brad, did you know he was very sick?

BRAD GARRETT: Yeah, we did. It was kept pretty much just between the family and the cast. And --

KING: It's still a shock today?

GARRETT: Absolutely.

KING: How did you find out?

GARRETT: Ray called me and told me.

ROMANO: Yeah I called him last night. I found out last night, too, from -- from one of the crew members who was a good close friend of his, called me at my house. And Patty was actually going to go visit him this morning and I believe his wife Lorraine -- she called his wife Lorraine and she told her and then she called my wife. And then it all kind of spread pretty fast.

KING: He was a family with your group, was he not?

GARRETT: Very much.

ROMANO: Yeah, I mean, we all -- we all really -- I mean, it's almost boring but we got along. There was friendship and love for all of us, between all of us.

KING: Every time we had all of you on, it was obvious.


KING: Doris Roberts, you're in New York, have you been to and seen Peter's family?

DORIS ROBERTS: Yes, I have. I just left them, in fact. It's a sad day for all of us. The thing about Peter that was so amazing was that he was so different than the characters he played both on film and on television.

KING: Different how?

ROBERTS: He was a gentle man, a very brilliant man, a very smart man, a very well read man. A very sensitive man. But none of those characters seem to -- showed up either in Joe or Frankenstein or Frank, you know, Barone.

KING: How's the family dealing with it?

ROBERTS: Oh, they're just in a sort of state of shock at this point, as everybody should be, except we all knew it was coming. He was ill, very ill. And I had been coming back and forth to New York for the past two months and had seen him several times, both at home and in the hospital. And I just dreaded looking at this sweet man who had lost so much weight and was fighting so desperately to stay with us. But he -- he had to leave. KING: You still own that role, we're going to show you a couple of clips tonight. Let's show one featuring Ray and Peter Boyle. Watch.


PETER BOYLE: When your mother cooks, it's something -- what do you call it? Special. I don't want her doing that for some other guy. They stitched up my hand. I went straight to her house. And from then on she cooks only for me.

ROMANO: Wow, I didn't know that's how it all started. That's a nice story, dad.

BOYLE: Yeah, I don't like to tell it because it doesn't have a happy ending.


ROMANO: I remember that episode.

KING: What was his talent?

ROMANO: Well, I think Doris -- Doris kind of mentioned it, this is a guy who, you know, look at the characters he played and he was the exact opposite of that. You know, he could get into that role. He could embody that character and yet to know him, you know, this is a guy who, you know, he was a Christian brother for two years. He went a vow of silence, the whole thing. That's in the beginning of his life. He thought that was his calling. And then he was, you know, a theatrical actor. He could talk about history, politics, religion.

GARRETT: He was an amazing intellect. Really --

ROMANO: And the amazing part is yet he could -- he could dumb it down for me, you know?

GARRETT: And me, put me in there. Absolutely. He never made you feel that there was anything superior about him but he was able to --

KING: So you're saying he was the superior intellect on the show?

GARRETT: Absolutely.

KING: By far?

ROMANO: The smartest guy.

GARRETT: What was amazing is his love for children. You know, there were like 13 kids that were born in the nine years of "Raymond" from people on the crew and we all had kids. When the kids showed up they just flocked to Peter because he was a big kid and he would get on the floor with them and do his impressions with them. You know it's amazing, he couldn't be more unlike the people he played but what he had in common is he was the every man. You know, he was the regular guy.

KING: He had a relationship with John Lennon?

ROMANO: Yeah, yeah. I think his wife was friends with Yoko Ono and his wife, I believe was a reporter for "Rolling Stone" and she interviewed Peter. I remember Peter telling the story that when he met his wife she was interviewing him on the set of "Young Frankenstein" and he was still in costume so he had the bolts in his neck and this is where he met the love of his life. And she was --

KING: He knew John Lennon.

ROMANO: She happened to be friends with Yoko Ono, they started a relationship. And I don't, that doesn't surprise me because they are of like minds. You know --

GARRETT: Very much, yeah.

ROMANO: And John Lennon was the best man at his wedding when they got married, yeah.

KING: How's Lorraine his wife of 30 years, who we just mentioned. Doris, how is she doing with this?

ROBERTS: Well she's an extraordinary woman and she has been at his side from the very moment of his illness and been there for him and given him strength and tried desperately to keep him going. And she did. She's doing what we all do when we have to deal with a death of a spouse. You go through it. You're in a state of shock to begin with but you have things that you have to do and that's what she's doing.

KING: We'll take a break and come back. As we go to break, the cast on this program and I asked Peter Boyle that night how he got the job.


KING: Peter Boyle, you didn't have to audition, did you, come on, you're Peter Boyle.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They wouldn't even let him in at the gate, right?

BOYLE: They wouldn't let me in at the gate Larry, that's what it's really like.

GARRETT: But you didn't have on your pants, he's not telling you the whole story.

BOYLE: I was out here and my kids were visiting from back east because I live back in Manhattan and my girls go to school there.

KING: I know, you do a lot of Broadway. BOYLE: No, I don't.

KING: I've seen you on Broadway.

BOYLE: Exactly. We couldn't get on the lot and we couldn't get a parking space. Then when we finally got all of that worked out, we went to where the office and they said, no, the auditions are being held in another place. So when I walked in, Ray and Phil were there and I was enraged.

ROMANO: You were in character.

BOYLE: You're darn right I was in character!




BOYLE: I'm just a simple man who tried to make a difference. I still put my pants on one leg at a time.

GARRETT: Yeah, but you should stop when they reach your nipples.


KING: He was so, Brad, comfortable with comedy.

GARRETT: He was. He was comfortable in his own skin. And that's what made him do comedy and drama so well.

KING: Did y'all make him famous that movie?

GARRETT: I think that's what really kicked it off for Peter. It was such an amazing role, especially back in those days. I mean it was just --

ROMANO: He used to talk about that. People would see him as his character and people on the street would yell and, yeah, and he was so the opposite of what Joe stood for, you know? Yeah. That it was almost hard to break -- break that image of him you know?

KING: Was he an actor -- Doris, that was easy to work with?

ROBERTS: Oh, he was more than easy. I found that very often we would just look at each other and we said more in those looks than maybe a page of dialogue would take. It was very easy to work with him. I just -- we had the same rhythm. We could almost finish each other's sentence. We trusted each other and respected each other.

KING: Ray, you weren't an actor, I mean, you were a comedian who became an actor acting on the sitcom. Was he intimidating?

ROMANO: You know, I had never met anybody. I came from New York and I came out here. And like you saw the first meeting, he was explaining that first meeting. So the first time I saw him he was kind of annoyed that he couldn't find the place. So I had no idea what he was like, and, yes, I was intimidated by him. And he -- this is just a credit to what a good man he was. Of all the people, he took me in, you know, and he made me feel welcomed and he made me feel like one of his peers, which I wasn't. And I came from New York. I got an apartment in an apartment building because my family stayed in New York for the first year. He came from New York. He had me get an apartment in the same building, so for the first year we shared apartments in the same building and we just hung out. He became my friend. He would come on the weekends. I would rehearse on the weekends with a coach because like you say, this was something new to me. He would come down into my apartment and he would rehearse with me on the weekend. This is a guy, you look at his career, you know. He didn't need to be this --

GARRETT: He was an amazingly generous actor on stage and off. And we were better being around him. Not just as a -- he had a great sense of humanity and he was wonderful, to share a stage with him, you were better. You know, he raised the bar.

KING: Executive producer Phil Rosenthal said something similar in a statement, "We all loved Peter very much. He said it's a death in the family." Let's watch Peter in a scene with Brad.


BOYLE: It was coming in high. I had to stretch for it. I could get only one hand on it but that was enough. I brought that little piggy right down into my chest. Hello, little piggy.

GARRETT: And then he went wee, wee, wee all the way home.

BOYLE: It was the biggest moment ever in Hofstra history and I have it. You should have heard the crowd chanting for me.

GARRETT: Give it back, jerk! Give it back, jerk!

BOYLE: And booing.


KING: He worked off people well, didn't he?

GARRETT: He did. He did.

ROMANO: You know it was great also, too, he had his own method. And during the whole week of rehearsal he would never really give it -- it took him time to get to where he fully had it. And -- but we all knew show night when the cameras were rolling it would be there. You know, he -- you know, he was a true actor.

GARRETT: He had an amazing sense of trust. And that's what I -- coming from stand-up myself, I mean Ray and I -- I remember we were talking, we were going Peter Boyle was going to play our dad, I mean that was huge for us. But he had just an amazing ease and he didn't have to push and come show night he was just -- KING: As we go to break we'll be back with Ray Romano, Brad Garrett and Doris Roberts. Another scene from our interview a couple years ago. Watch.


KING: What about comedians doing acting. Is that hard for you, Peter?

BOYLE: No, it's not hard for me. But I really have to comment on that. When we first started working Ray would be like very shocked that he would say something and other people would answer him. Because he's used to being on stage alone and I would come towards him and there would be this like -- but he -- what's great about Ray is he always makes eye contact, which is -- which is really an instinctive acting thing.





BOYLE: What?

ROBERTS: What do you have to say?

BOYLE: This is dumb. You still need reassurance after 45 years of bondage? All right. I'm going to tell you something now I've never told anyone else before. I could have had my chance with Claudia.


(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: The death of Peter Boyle at age 71 in New York last night. How -- Doris, how did you keep from laughing?

ROBERTS: I bit the inside of my cheek all the time. Sometimes I would pinch my thigh. I had to do that, otherwise he would break me up.

KING: Because he was, for everything else, he's a seasoned comedic actor, was he not?

ROBERTS: Absolutely. And very truthful. Very truthful. He was in pure character all the time.

KING: What do you remember about the trophy wife scene?

ROBERTS: Oh, I love that.

KING: Is that when he --

ROBERTS: Go ahead. KING: Is that one of your better moments?

ROBERTS: Yes. But there's another one where I have cold cream on my face and I'm in bed and he takes the cold cream off. And you saw this sweet, gentle man under all that gruffness who really loved Marie Barone. I thought it was wonderful.

KING: Let's watch a little of the trophy wife scene with Peter Boyle and Doris Roberts.


BOYLE: Can't you ever just be quiet?

ROBERTS: Don't you tell me to be quiet. I have a mind of my own, you know. I can contribute. I'm not just some trophy wife.

BOYLE: You're a trophy wife? What contest in hell did I win?


GARRETT: That was -- that was one of the biggest laughs we got.


GARRETT: More people quoted that line.


ROBERTS: One of my favorite things that he always said was "holy crap, holy crap." We're going to miss you, Peter.

KING: Yeah, we sure will. Has it sunk in, Ray? You told Brad. How did you hear?

ROMANO: Yeah, no, I heard from one of the crew members who was a good friend of his.

KING: Oh, yeah.

ROMANO: Yeah. You know, even though you're kind of prepared for it because you know he's ill, it's still the finality of it is kind of jolting. And, yeah, it's weird because I'm still getting over the show coming to an end, you know? And I'm still making adjustment to that. And so to be in touch with all the characters keeps -- keeps the show alive. And to lose one of our -- the members of, like we say, it's like losing a member of the family. So, you know, it's been a sad day. And it comes and goes, you know. I see clips like that and you remember. I mean, we had such a great experience over nine years that we shared.

KING: How are you adjusting?

GARRETT: Well, you know, it's new. I mean, and in all reality I'm thinking of people that, you know, his family and --

KING: Who's in the family?

GARRETT: Well, his daughters, you know and, of course, Lorraine and he was an amazing father and very, very dedicated and it was all about his girls. And that's -- that's what was great about Peter, too. I mean, he loved acting and he loved his craft, he was great. But, man, he was a dad first.

ROMANO: They never moved out in nine years, he went back and forth for all nine years.

GARRETT: Every hiatus he flew home.

ROMANO: Every three weeks he'd just go home.

GARRETT: He never missed one.


GARRETT: But there are people with all due respect, you know, we work with him for nine years, there are people out there who are really grieving tonight, I'm sure. Not just his fans or his colleagues but people that are -- his family and I'm sure people he knew for 50 years, you know.

KING: Doris, do you know the funeral arrangements?

ROBERTS: It is Monday at Campbell's at 11:30 in the morning.

KING: In New York?

ROBERTS: In New York.

KING: I guess there's an awake, to?

ROBERTS: No, there is no wake. There will be people coming to visit the family at Campbell's on Sunday between the hours of 2:00 and 5:00 but there's no awake. It's just come and visit with the family if you want to.

KING: Can you tell us what's going on in the house?

ROBERTS: Well, people keep coming in and hugging and kissing each other. And just talking about how much he meant to them and how much fun he had and how bright he was. There's a sadness and there's just a feeling of great camaraderie of friends of theirs. It's quite lovely. Sad as it is, it's lovely to see these people who come and give their time and their energy and their love to Lorraine and both the daughters.

KING: Let's take a call for Brad Garrett, Ray Romano and Doris Roberts. Omaha, hello.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi Larry, how are you guys doing?

KING: Fine. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question is, I was a huge fan of "Young Frankenstein" and one of my favorite episodes is the Halloween episode where you guys are handing out the candy and he accidentally hands out the condoms instead and he's dressed up as Frankenstein. I caught that right away and was just dying laughing. I just wondered whose idea was that and I'll hang up.

KING: Thank you. Ray?

ROMANO: Well that episode was written by one of our writers Steve Scrovan, and, yeah, that was not by accident. You know, that was a tribute to the -- to his -- that movie, which is a classic and a lot of people's favorites. A little interesting story about that episode. They wouldn't let us do that in the first year. CBS nixed it thinking it was too risque and then after we developed a following and we became kind of a hit they said do whatever you want.

KING: Risque because?

ROMANO: Because he was handing, what happened was he was handing out condoms. He thought they were candy so kids were coming and he was handing out condoms. But I think he really got a kick out of it. And we saw "Young Frankenstein" the creator Phil Rosenthal would have movie week every week at his house and Peter didn't come to many of them but he showed "Young Frankenstein" so Peter came. So we got to watch "Young Frankenstein" with Peter and that was kind of cool to look and go hey. And then he told stories about it after.

KING: What perfect casting. Look at him.


KING: He's got Gene Wilder -- Gene Wilder is amazing. That's a perfect comedy.

GARRETT: It was great.

ROMANO: He would break into -- every once in a while you'd get him in the right mood he would do a putting on the Ritz for us, you know.

KING: Speaking of that, that's of course the great scene when he found -- he wants to control the crowd. How he feeds them. As we go to break, here's a different side of Peter Boyle, one of the great individual scenes in motion picture history. We'll see a clip of it. Peter Boyle as the Frankenstein Munster. He was not Frankenstein. Frankenstein was Gene Wilder, the doctor, and putting on the Ritz. Watch.


GENE WILDER: If you're blue and you don't know where to go to why don't you go where fashion sits --

BOYLE: Putting on the Ritz.

WILDER: Different types where a date coat pants with stripes or cut away coat perfect fits -- BOYLE: Putting on the Ritz.

WILDER: Dressed up like a million dollar trouper trying mighty hard to look like Gary Cooper --

BOYLE: Super-duper.

WILDER: Come let's mix where Rockefellers walk with sticks or umbrellas in their mitts --

BOYLE: Putting on the Ritz.



KING: Peter Boyle passed away. The funeral will be Monday in New York.

The crew who worked with him, Ray Romano, Brad Garrett and Doris Roberts. Patricia Heaton is doing theater and could not work because she's on stage somewhere tonight.

And we're discussing this incredible talent who has left us at a very young age of 71.

Was he in a lot of pain, Ray?

ROMANO: I think they -- they -- he was comfortable. They kept him out of pain. And he was still alert and, you know, when we went to visit him, we would make him laugh, you know. And he was watching the football games and all.

But he was -- he was weak and he had lost a lot of weight, yes. But I think he was relatively out of pain.

KING: How recent had you seen him, Doris?

ROBERTS: Well, last week I visited him in the hospital. I had seen him quite often. As I said, I had been back and forth at least six times. And I just want to say, holy crap, Peter, I love you.

KING: Portland, Oregon, Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. I just first of all wanted to give you all my condolences. It's kind of like losing a family member because I've always loved your show and all of you.

And my question was, what will you guys miss the most about him?

KING: Good question. Brad?

GARRETT: Well, pretty much what I missed when we all wrapped up the show was the comradery and the friendship. And Peter and I shared a very strange humor and we used to -- we used to talk about the Rat Pack all the time. We were huge Rat Pack fans. And it was just -- you know, to be able to sit down with a legend and just hang out and talk. It doesn't happen often. I missed him before today and now it's -- it's a real loss. But it's the friendship, it's the family.

KING: Doris?

ROBERTS: I'm going to miss the sweet, gentle, intelligent man that I knew, that I spent almost ten years with on a daily basis. I'm going to miss that man.

A lot of people don't know that man. They only see him as the funny characters he's played and the bigots that he's played. But there was nothing about him that was like that. He was a gentle, bright, brilliant actor with great sensibility and caring about the world and was very committed and was a wonderful humanitarian.

KING: Ray?

ROMANO: Well, I'm going to miss, you know, we used to hang together, believe it or not. I mean...

KING: The age difference, you mean.

ROMANO: Yes, that's what I mean. That's what was amazing about him. He connected with everybody around him. You know, and he took me to basketball games when we were in L.A. He was a big Knick fan. Whenever I came into town, we would try to get a Knick game in. You know, he was like a father figure and a friend at the same time to me. So that's kind of special. You don't find that in many people. So I was lucky to have that.

KING: To Fullerton, California, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry and the Barone family, who I adore.

I was having chemotherapy today when they said it on CNN. I was shocked because we all think he was going to live forever. But I'm just so happy to see that you have this show on in his honor. He was like a father to all of us and I wondered, you know, you guys were like our family. Our family was like the Barone family. And I wondered if he was like your family? I could hear Ray just now saying he was like a father and a friend.

ROMANO: Yes, I mean, he was -- you know, the show is kind of based on my family and Phil Rosenthal's family, so he -- I say this when I perform, you know, stand-up now. I say, when I take Q and A, the closest character to my real family was Peter Boyle. My father has, you know, done everything Peter has done. This is the line I use in the act. I go, except probably without pants on. There's my line. But it's true. And it was real cool to see when my father -- Peter was actually, I remember the first time my father came to the show, Peter was scared to meet him because just from an actor's point of view, he didn't want to see the guy he was portraying. And I said, I'm scared to meet my father, also, for different reasons.

KING: How did your father react to this?

ROMANO: He loved him.

KING: Taking it hard?

ROMANO: Oh, this. No, I thought that you meant -- he loved Peter.

Yes, I mean, this was -- he was portraying him, so to speak, and they did finally meet and had a nice little relationship, you know, whenever they would meet.

So, yes, yes. I mean, my family -- my parents are out here now. I told them this morning. And it's sad. It's sad for them.

KING: We have another clip. I think this features also Doris and Peter. Watch.


GARRETT: Do you even know what that is, Ma?

ROBERTS: Yes, I do know what that is. I may be an ancient relic as far as you're concerned, but I still able to know what things are. This is a sex machine.


BOYLE: Can I go for a ride?


ROMANO: He was the king of that. He was the king of...

GARRETT: Yes, one line.

ROMANO: ... you think she got the biggest laugh and then, no, no, you didn't, Peter got it. Yes. He was great.

KING: We'll be back. We're going to spend another segment with our group and some of your phone calls and then we'll look at that missing situation in Oregon.

And here's another clip from the interview a few years back.


KING: When were you a monk?

BOYLE: When was I a monk?

ROBERTS: Last week.

BOYLE: Right after the death of Stalin, actually.

KING: That made you...

BOYLE: Well, I wanted to do something... KING: You were that depressed?

BOYLE: ... and I didn't know what was coming. I went, uh-oh, they're going to test the hydrogen bomb, so I went into...

KING: A monastery.

BOYLE: ... I became a Christian Brother. I was taught by the Christian Brothers. I went to Christian High School.

KING: Did you ever want to be a priest?

BOYLE: No. No, I wanted to be a monk. I wanted to be a teacher actually, really, Christian Brother.

KING: How long were you a monk?

BOYLE: I did my college work in there. I was a novice monk for one year training, and then a student or a scholastic for three years.

KING: They spoke, though, right?

BOYLE: Only at certain times. Which was very interesting for a guy like me who's a compulsive talker.



KING: Remembering Peter Boyle. We go to Toronto, Canada, hello.

CALLER: Hello, everyone. Thank you very much for taking my call, Mr. King. I just want to tell everyone that I think you all are the best. I have serious respect for actors like Mr. Boyle and I think that they're rare and hard to come by. No offense to you guys. I wanted to ask you what do you think made him such a special, lovingly wonderful actor?

KING: Why did we like him so much?

ROMANO: Well, I mean, the character he played was a cranky, ornery man. But the only way the audience can like him, if they -- if they see underneath that, you know.

I think that's what he was capable of doing. You know, he was playing this curmudgeon who also had this heart. You seen it between a couple of scenes between Doris and him. He was able to capture all of that, all sides of it.

I think he just knew, you know, he knew people. He knew -- he lived such an amazing life, you know. And he had so much to draw on. I think everybody just connected with him.

GARRETT: He played Frankenstein wonderfully. You know? If you look at the story, they were all fly but you cared about him. I think that's when the real Peter came out, the soft side that you saw. ROMANO: I remember the first week of rehearsal. Again, like you said, he wasn't an actor, the jury's still out. But I was scared. And I hadn't even had a conversation with him and after a scene in rehearsal he came over to me and he just said, he was giving me advice.

He goes, it's just like water. He goes, just let it flow. You know, and I didn't even know what that meant, but just the fact that he would try to help me, it just kind of...

GARRETT: ... You never pee'd on yourself, no, we don't mean that.

KING: Why do we like him so much, Doris?

ROBERTS: Because he had such humanity in him. You laugh at him. You find him humorous. You find him very similar to probably your own father or an uncle or something like that. But there was a person there, a real, down to earth person. And he was truthful and that's what you responded to, I think.

KING: We have just a moment or so remaining before I get one last question. Ashland, Kentucky, hello.

CALLER: Hi, guys. I would just like to extend my deepest sympathies. And I would just like to say that my grandmother, God love her, is a huge fan of your show. But she just discovered it in syndication. And my question is, what do you think that Mr. Boyle's legacy, what would he want his legacy be to the American people, whether it be his professional career or his personal life?

KING: Doris?

ROBERTS: Well, I think it's both. You can't have one without the other. There's no question that the brilliance of him is the fact that he's lived a good life and had the intelligence and the wisdom to do the things he did and make the choices that he made. It's all -- it's all in one piece.

KING: Brad?

GARRETT: Well, you know, he had a great insight into people and just a great opinion about taking care of others, you know. And very charitable, very giving back. And I think that was huge for him.

KING: There was no minus to him, right, Ray?

ROMANO: There's no what?

KING: No minus.

GARRETT: That's another show. There really wasn't.

ROMANO: No. He portrayed a character that had a lot of minuses but if you knew the guy, you know, he was a special guy.

KING: Thank you for coming on such short notice.

ROMANO: Thank you for having us.

GARRETT: We love you. Love you, Doris.


KING: Yes?

ROBERTS: Thank you for doing this show. I think it's so wonderful to show Peter the way he is.

KING: Thank you.

ROBERTS: Thank you.

KING: Bye, Peter.

Ray Romano, Brad Garrett, Doris Roberts.

Coming up, the latest on those missing hikers on Mt. Hood in Oregon. That's next.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're from out of town. They're not familiar with the mountain, but they did try to go up on the north side.

DAVID SCHECHTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The search began early this morning for 48-year-old Kelly James and two other climbers. Also missing is 37-year-old Brian Hall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With limited gear that they reportedly have, it's going to be their ability to improvise and dig in and try to stay warm and dry.

SCHECHTER: The climbers set out on Thursday and were expected back on Saturday. They have very little food and white out conditions are complicating rescue efforts. However, they are hopeful that rescuers can now trace James' cell phone signal.



KING: Before we talk about our missing mountain climbers, Anderson Cooper, what's up at "A.C. 360" tonight?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Larry, we've got breaking news out of Washington, D.C. Senator Tim Johnson out of South Dakota was rushed to a hospital this afternoon. Now we don't know how serious his condition is, but questions are swirling about what he's doing and what his health could mean for the balance of power in the Senate. Mr. Johnson is a Democrat. If he's not able to return to the chamber, it is a possibility that control could tilt back to the Republicans. It is a fast-moving story. We're going to bring you the latest at the top of the hour.

Plus the latest on whether the president is really considering sending in more troops to Iraq. Also my conversation with Mel Gibson. All that and more, Larry, at the top of the hour.

KING: That's "A.C. 360," 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific.

Right now the story that is on the lips of a lot of people. A rescue search continued today for three mountain climbers missing since the weekend on Oregon's Mt. Hood.

Joining us from Parkdale, Oregon, is Frank James. He's the brother of the missing mountain climber Kelly James. In Parkdale is Sheriff Joe Wampler, the Hood River County sheriff's department. In San Antonio is Keith Airington, a long-time friend of Kelly James. Keith taught him how to climb and has climbed mountains with the missing climber. And in Atlanta, the very important story here is weather, is Rob Marciano, CNN meteorologist.

Frank, is your brother, is he a veteran climber?

FRANK JAMES, BROTHER OF MISSING CLIMBER: He is. He's got over 20 years of experience. He's climbed in the Andes in South America, as well as Mt. McKinley. He climbed the Eiger in Europe as well. So he's a very experienced mountain climber.

KING: Do we have any idea, sheriff, where they are?

JOE WAMPLER, SHERIFF, HOOD RIVER COUNTY: We -- we do. First, we know -- we knew their climb itinerary and then basically got a phone call from him Sunday afternoon and so we're concentrating our efforts in that area.

KING: Would you say, Keith, there's a good chance, knowing as well as you know Kelly, that they might make it?

KEITH AIRINGTON, LONGTIME FRIEND OF KELLY JAMES: Yes. I do believe there's a great chance. I've climbed with Kelly for 25 years. I've had the pleasure of climbing with Brian once. Both are very talented. They know what to do in situations like this. Extremely strong, good thinkers. And I know they know what to do, what's right.

KING: Rob, what's the weather conditioning here that might affect this search?

ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, unfortunately the weather conditions have been the key all week long. There have been a series of three storms that have come in. The latest one came in last at about the 6,600 foot level. Winds were clocked at 78 miles an hour. So, you go up to eight or nine thousand feet, even ten thousand feet, where we think they are, and you can take those winds easily up to 90, maybe even 100 miles an hour.

And the storm coming in tomorrow -- you can kind of see it here on the satellite picture, at least the leading edge of it, is going to bring in even stronger winds, possibly a 100 mile-an-hour wind along the coastline and at elevation, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see to 100 mile an hour winds.

There's an avalanche warning up for that area. There's a winder storm watch and high wind watch up for that area, and also a flood watch because snow levels are going to rise. So a combination of factors working against the rescuers and the climbers as we head into tomorrow.

KING: Frank, I understand there was a signal from Kelly, your brother's, cell phone, a kind of ping, but now we're getting nothing. Is that right?

JAMES: That's what I've heard. I have no way of verifying that. We did get -- there was a report. And that's all I can call it, is a report, that on Monday morning there was an attempt to make a call, a 911 call.

The good news for us, for me personally, is that that just means he's alive and he's thinking clearly and trying to send out a signal. So that's hope for me and I trust that rescuers, as well, will keep pressing as hard as they can to get to my brother and to Brian and Nico (ph).

KING: Sheriff, do we know, were they on the way down?

WAMPLER: We believe that they started climbing -- would have been actually Friday morning about 3:00 in the morning, may have actually summitted just above the 11,000 foot level of Mt. Hood. And we can only kind of guess at this point that that was probably late in the day and the wind was strong at that point, very strong. And they descended back over the edge, out of the wind from where they had come from and then dug a snow cave and spent the night, would have been Friday night into Saturday morning, just below the summit of Mt. Hood.

KING: Keith, as I understand it, you can't eat snow for water, is that right?

AIRINGTON: It's hard to get enough liquid in you by eating snow. If you're in that kind of situation, that's all you've got, then you definitely need to eat as much as you can. A big risk of doing that is what they call glacier dust, which can make you quite sick, almost to same effects as like food poisoning. But if that's all you have to sustain you, then that's what you need to do.

KING: We'll be right back with more on this story of hope. Don't go away.


KING: Frank James, what, to your knowledge, is the physical condition of your brother?

JAMES: Well, we don't have any specific information on that. What I do know about my brother is that he's tough as nails and, yes, well, he's a tough guy. He's, as I said, he's experienced and he has this extraordinary determination. He -- I've mentioned it before, but he was a triathlete and you don't do those kinds of things without a very strong determination. And that's Kelly James for you.

KING: Sheriff, do you have lots of mountain climbers lost and found every year?

WAMPLER: Yes, that's -- this is not an uncommon event on Mt. Hood. This one is a little more frustrating because the weather conditions have shut us off the mountain. We've got -- hit a brick wall at 8,500 feet because of whiteout and high wind conditions. And our guys on the mountain are just on their hands and knees on the ridges and basically we can't penetrate up into the area we need to just because it's unsafe for our people.

KING: Keith, how long can they survive?

AIRINGTON: Well, I tell you what, people usually say around four days. But given the circumstances, knowing Kelly as I do, he can -- if he's inside a snow cave and relatively, the opening is out of the wind where he's not getting the wind force from blowing into the cave, it will stay right at freezing or a little above in there, so if he's protected from the elements and he's able to at least get some liquid in him, he can go without food a long time. He can last a lot longer than most people, again, as Frank was saying. He's a tough kid. I've known him for a long time. He can last a while.

KING: Rob, when will the weather turn better?

MARCIANO: It's going to get worse tomorrow, Larry. And the winds will likely continue on Friday, subsiding late Friday and Saturday morning. I can't imagine them flying helicopters before late in the day on Friday, most likely on Saturday morning.

Just to give you an idea of Mt. Hood, show you the lay of the land, this is a mountain totally exposed to the elements and to the Pacific Ocean as these storms come in.

What these guys were trying to do is come down the south side, which is what you see here, right through into Timberline Lodge. This is an area that is much -- not nearly as steep as the north side, which can have at times 50 to 60 degree pitches. This is the area where they started their climb, either up the Elliot Glacier or up the Cooper Spur. either way, it's not an easy climb.

And to com back down that way, which is what they said they would do if they got into trouble, that's even more treacherous. As a matter of fact, up here around the Cooper Spur Trail or route coming down, in 1999, we lost two climbers that time. So this is a dangerous part of the mountain and you factor in the weather, Larry, and it's not a good deal.

KING: We wish them the best and will stay close and will follow this up tomorrow.

Rob Marciano, Sheriff Joe Wampler, Keith Airington and Frank James, whose brother Keith is one of the missing climbers.

And we certainly thank our guests earlier and the tribute to the late -- it's hard to say that -- the late Peter Boyle of "Young Frankenstein", "Joe" and "Everybody Loves Raymond" Fame.

Right now, we turn our attention to New York City. Standing by is Anderson Cooper, the host of "AC 360" and a big story out of the Senate -- Anderson.