Heaton’s acting days started very early, as she shared with the “Backstage With…” audience, “pretty much out of the womb I was front and center.” While she was a young girl, she wrote her own plays and performed them in her garage, and she sang the latest Barbra Streisand hits for her second grade class. However, while she had always loved to perform, it was not until her junior year at The Ohio State University that she decided to make acting her career, switching her major from journalism to theater. Heaton revealed that she was miserable as a journalism major, and that “I’ve always felt a spiritual connection with acting. I felt whole when I was onstage.”
In the interview, Heaton tells stories from her time as a struggling actress in both New York and Los Angeles, including stints as a singing waitress and a shoe model, and insight into what led to her most famous role as Debra Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond. While trying to make a living as an actress wasn’t always easy, Heaton shared that “I always knew I should be doing it.”
After finishing Everybody Loves Raymond, Heaton performed in an off-Broadway show alongside Tony Shaloub (who, Heaton disclosed, was also the best man at her wedding), and she is now the star of the ABC hit show The Middle. In her future, Heaton revealed to the “Backstage With” audience that she would like to play a supporting part in a really great feature film, and she would also love to play Mrs. Lovett in the Stephen Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd.