Former WEWS employee Patricia Heaton now stars in 'The Middle'

WEB EXTRA: Heaton talks about days at WEWS

CLEVELAND - Many people wonder how Hollywood stars got their start – well, the famous sitcom mom and star of ABC's "The Middle" got one of her first jobs working in Cleveland at WEWS.

Patricia Heaton, 54, grew up in Bay Village and attended The Ohio State University.

According to former WEWS employee Donald Ungar, Heaton spent a summer working in the newsroom at the television station in the late 1970s. She needed the work experience in order to get her degree. She worked as a film editor.

[ See images of Heaton when she worked at WEWS ]

Heaton, who went by "Pat" at the time, always said she was going to be an actress. After graduating, she moved to New York City to study drama.

Heaton's father was a sports writer for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and her brother, Michael, is currently the "Minister of Culture" columnist for the newspaper. She also has three sisters.

Heaton is best known for playing Debra Barone on "Everybody Loves Raymond" from 1996 – 2005. She is currently playing Frankie Heck on "The Middle" on WEWS Wednesdays at 8 p.m.

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