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Queens Chronicle

Ray Romano grew up on Nansen St. in Forest Hills

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Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 10:30 am

Ray Romano’s roots run long and deep in Forest Hills.

The comedic actor’s mother, the former Luciana Fortini, grew up and lived on Exeter Street. She graduated from Forest Hills High School in 1945 at only the age of 16. According to her yearbook, she was on the tennis and badminton teams. She dreamed of attending The Juilliard School of Music and later became a piano teacher.

In 1953, she married Albert Romano, a successful engineer and real estate agent. They rented for a brief time on Burns Street. In 1956, while many young families were moving to brand-new homes in suburban Nassau County, they decided to buy a humble 1,590-square-foot house at 70-17 Nansen St. Their first-born son, Richard, was also born that year. He later became an NYPD sergeant.

Raymond Albert Romano was born the next year. Then another boy followed named Robert.

Raymond studied at Archbishop Molloy High School in Briarwood for his freshman and sophomore years. He transferred to Hillcrest High for his last two, graduating in the same year as Fran Drescher. After that, he studied acccounting at Queens College.

Ray got into comedy and eventually became one of the highest-paid actors on television with the hit show “Everybody Loves Raymond,” which he also co-executive produced.

The Romanos’ childhood home on Nansen Street turned out to be a good investment, as the humble little home today is appraised at approximately $850,000.

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