Detective Raymond Vecchio

Character Sketch



 Ray Vecchio, Chicago PD

AGE:
36 (born in 1960 according to a prop from the set)

HEIGHT:
6'

WEIGHT:
165 lbs.

HAIR:
Brown, crewcut (as he's balding)

EYES:
Hazel

YEARS ON FORCE:
Works at the 27th District. In the episode "You Must Remember This," he stated he'd been on the force for nine years.

SUPERIOR:
Lt. Harding Welsh; has probably worked for him for years. His first superior as a detective was Lt. Kelly.

PERSONAL PROFILE:
Ray comes across as loud and occasionally abrasive to the casual observer, but he's a good cop (despite a backlog of cases at one point) and his tendency to sometimes subvert the law to attain his goal. When the chips are down, he's an incredibly good friend.

Virtually everyone calls him Ray or, less often, Vecchio. His mother tends to call him Raimundo.

FAMILY:

  • Father
  • His full name is unknown. He is about the same height as his son; balding (apparently a trait Ray inherited) with dark brown hair.

    He's been dead since 1989. According to a prop from the set, he died in a car accident at the age of 68. We do not know what he did for a job but he apparently detested cops, so it was unlikely he was in the law enforcement profession.

    When Ray was a child, his father spent a lot of time at a local pool hall, Fanelli's. It was not unusual for him to come home late or not at all. Ray said he occasionally found his father passed out from too much drinking. Ray said in the Pilot movie that no matter what he did, he could never measure up to his father's expectations, leading one to believe that Ray's father belittled his son constantly, verbally, and perhaps physically as Ray said one thing he learned from his father was that you never hit a kid because they don't learn anything from it. If nothing else, Ray's self-esteem was battered from this relationship.

    Other things we know about his father is that when he brought home the pool table, it wasn't a joint decision with his wife, he got banished from the house for a while. However, Ray said if nothing else, his father knew quality wood and was a great pool player. Alas, he was a lousy parent. He also gambled. He'd place bets at a barber shop and would take little Ray along (on the pretext of going to the park) but he never won.

    Ray's father's ghost has appeared times (Gift of the Wheelman, Victoria's Secret, and North) and unlike Fraser Sr.'s ghost, the man never offers any good advice. All he does is criticize his son.

  • Mother
  • In her fifties or sixties, a little plump but robust, with dark brown hair, definitely Italian! Her full name is unknown.

    A nice lady. She's still alive and although the house is in Ray's name, she still sort of runs the household as she lives there along with everybody else. Loves to cook and was horrified to find out the meat in her spaghetti sauce was 'dog food.' Rarely seen, alas.

  • Brother
  • All we know about him is that Ray and him used to take baths together when they were kids (from Hawk and a Handsaw). As far as we know, Ray gets along with him.

  • Sister: Francesca
  • Francesca is Ray's younger sister; she's in her late twenties or early thirties. She has dark brown hair that changes in length and style depending on the episode. She's a true Vecchio, with a sometimes caustic personality. She has had eyes for Fraser since the Pilot. She quite often lacks common sense. Francesca also has her own sense of style when it comes to clothes.

  • Sister: Maria
  • She is perhaps in her early thirties, but older than Frannie, with brown hair. In one episode it was a short wavy style, and later on, a longer style.

    She's married to Tony (no accounting for taste). She was talking annulment when Tony gave her a leopard print bathrobe to her for their 5th wedding anniversary in the Pilot. They tend to squabble but apparently love each other.

    They have some children. However, some of those kids look a lot older than five years old in the Pilot. Two kids were shown in Victoria's Secret, one pre-teen girl, one boy. There were several children shown in the Pilot but some may have belonged to Ray's other brother (the one we've never seen). A new addition (baby girl) showed up in The Duel.

    She knows her sister Francesca very well. We saw her in They Eat Horses, Don't They? telling Fraser that Frannie was waiting for just the right moment to walk into the bathroom to catch the Mountie disrobed.

  • Brother-in-Law: Tony
  • Maria's husband. Dark hair, sort of slovenly. Could use a bit of time on a treadmill! In his mid-thirties perhaps. He doesn't appear to have a job, at least none that we can see. When Tony asked Fraser what it took to become a Mountie, Maria said he 'breaks out in a sweat' just turning on the wide-screen TV, so it's doubtful he'd past muster. Besides, you have to be Canadian to be a Mountie, right? We saw him briefly in Victoria's Secret when most of the Vecchio clan drove down to Florida.

  • Nieces & Nephews:
  • We've never heard any names, but Maria and Tony have a baby, and apparently three other children of varying ages (up to preteen). Maybe this is why Tony has no job; he has no time to work!

  • Aunt
  • Name unknown, but she's Ray's mother sister and she lives in Florida.

  • Uncle Angelo
  • On Ray's father's side. Presumed deceased. Never seen but was mentioned in You Must Remember This. Ray's father met his future wife at Angelo's wedding in Gary, Indiana. What impressed Ray's father about his wife-to-be was that she ate cheesecake with a fork and knife.

  • Uncle Lorenzo
  • Fraser has his Uncle Tiberius, Ray has his Uncle Lorenzo. Uncle Lorenzo is gray-haired, in his sixties perhaps, living in a nursing home. Physically he may be a little slow but mentally, well, the man is living back in the Roaring Twenties with gangsters constantly on his mind.

    Ray visits him on occasion (he gave him a box of chocolate cigars at Christmas (1995)) and asked his uncle about gangster related information (Some Like It Red). He still thinks that if he spills any information on Al Capone, the 'Dearborn Park' crew will get him.

  • Cousin: Al Grosso
  • He's twice-removed, although Ray wanted to remove him a bit further after finding paint bubbles on a Riv he was inspecting. Al runs a garage and found a replacement Buick for Ray after the Riv was blown up in Juliet is Bleeding. He also repairs cars for Ray's ex-wife. He does not seem beneath sort of cheating Ray, as he attempted to sell him a used Riv with a welded frame. In the end, Al settled for $1,000 for the vehicle.

  • The Hamster
  • Deceased. He was (gasp!) murdered -- or at least that's Francesca's story. Twenty some-odd years ago when Ray was a child, he tried to make Francesca's pet hamster swim. Well, it couldn't. Glub glub. Time to play taps. Ray is not repentant for this act as at the time, he had no idea hamsters couldn't swim. Francesca hasn't forgotten this felonious act.

    LOVE LIFE:

    • Divorced from ex-wife Angie. No children to our knowledge. In her thirties, shorter than Ray, not slim but not fat, lots of thick brown hair. We know little about her marriage to Ray except they seem to be on amicable terms now. She drives an old Mustang and gets it fixed at Ray's cousin's (Al Grosso) garage. She was (or still is) a street cop. Why they divorced has yet to be broached on the series, but Ray's love of old Buick's might have a small factor.

    • And then there was Irene Zuko (Frank's sister). Had she not left town years ago, it's conceivable that Ray might have married her. She died tragically; accidentally shot by her own brother in a fight with Ray.

    • Another woman for whom Ray felt instant kismet was ATF Agent Suzanne Chapin. Although he had no idea at the time she was a Federal agent, he fell in love with her despite the fact she'd hit him with a car and pistol-whipped him. She went back to Washington or wherever she worked and has not been seen since.

    • Ray has apparently dated a large variety of women -- hence his black book -- but not all relationships ended smoothly, as witnessed by one woman's nasty attitude toward him in The Deal (the choir scene).

    • He was very interested in State's Attorney Louise St. Laurent. Louise and he got together in Mask but after that, we never saw her again.

    • Alluded that he would like to get married again (You Must Remember This).

    FRIENDS / ENEMIES:

      We have not seen any friends surface, save for Frank Zuko, who is a lifelong enemy and mob boss of sorts. Considers Ian MacDonald a terrible thorn in his side. Seems to have no contact with former partners until he runs into them by accident. (Duel) However, does play poker with some guys (other cops?). (All the Queen's Horses)

    RELIGION:
    Catholic.

    HOME:
    Chicago born and bred.

    CURRENT ADDRESS:
    2926 North Octavia Avenue, Chicago. Three-story Victorian structure with porch. He inherited it from his father. (Victoria's Secret)

    INJURIES:

    1. Shot: through left shoulder by Dr. Carter. (Letting Go); Was shot by Muldoon. (Call of the Wild, part 1)
    2. Stabbed: Not yet!
    3. Knocked out: in Chinatown explosion (Pilot); whacked on head with bottle by Janice Deluca (Chicago Holiday, pt. 1); hit by car driven by Suzanne Chapin and later pistol-whipped by her (You Must Remember This); pistol-whipped and knocked out by MacFadden or other bad agent (Bird in the Hand); punched by Vern. (Red, White or Blue)
    4. Beaten up: by inmate in prison (Witness); restaurant brawl with Zuko and thugs -- just bruised-up face (Juliet is Bleeding); by MacFadden and other bad agents who kicked him in ribs twice. (Bird in the Hand)
    5. Scarred by: Has no scars to our knowledge.
    6. Broken bones: Assumed broken wrist/arm after explosion. (Pilot)
    7. Other: sustained various injuries when caught in explosion in Chinatown (Pilot); neck spasm when he rear-ended another car (Diefenbaker's Day Off); nearly drowned in car pushed into lake. (Pizza & Promises)

    ATTIRE:

      At first wore bright, gaudy outfits (perhaps for undercover work, we can hope!), but is mostly seen in Armani suits; loose-fitting outfits; never seen in tight jeans. Wears striped pajamas to bed. Conservative.

    MISCELLANEOUS:

    • Owns 1971 Buick Riviera; obsessed with it. First one was blown up to save his, Fraser's and Ian MacDonald's life; second one was blown up by car bomb which killed Louis Gardino. Third one he bought from his cousin Al for $1,000. Sorry note... Stan Kowalski had to use the car to keep his cover as Ray Vecchio. The car fell victim to a 'performance arsonist'. The hood blew off, it caught on fire and was then driven into a watery grave in Lake Michigan. (Burning Down the House).
    • Never went camping till the plane crash in North.
    • Ethics sometimes questionable: kicking in doors, trying to scam the insurance company (he certainly paid for that when the city declared him DEAD!).
    • Huge fan of the Chicago Bulls; buys season tickets.
    • Has ruined 24 suits since Fraser came to town. (The Promise)
    • Had 41 cases pending when Fraser arrived in Chicago.
    • Huge fan of John Travolta.
    • Whines (well, he does!).
    • Despite the fact that Fraser drives him nuts, Ray lets the Mountie drag him into all kinds of situations (perhaps because Fraser is one of the few people who doesn't judge him and considers Ray his best friend).
    • Won $25,000 in lottery -- lost ticket to chickens which pecked it to death. (We are the Eggmen)
    • Despite arguing with sister Francesca, he's very protective of her.
    • Since meeting Fraser, doesn't mind heights (hated them in Free Willy, yet willingly jumped off train trestle onto moving train in All the Queen's Horses!).
    • Almost idolized first supervisor, Will Kelly. It was later found out Kelly planted evidence on Charles Carver. Carver was guilty, but still... (Duel)
    • Quite capable of holding onto emotions: anger and revenge (Juliet is Bleeding), jealousy and envy (Red, White or Blue), and misery (Wild Bunch).
    • Was a chubby kid. (We are the Eggmen)
    • Not terribly good at sports.
    • Thinks once you cross into Canada, you're buried in snow and ice (wait till he sees how much gasoline costs). (The Man Who Knew Too Little)
    • Has a cellphone.
    • Works on an antiquated Smith Corona typewriter while everybody else uses computer.
    • Has Elaine do a lot of the research for him.
    • Loves to vacation in Florida.
    • Doesn't drink, maybe a glass of wine or two (good idea, considering his father was quite possibly an alcoholic).
    • Doesn't smoke.
    • Wears a gold cross.
    • Likes donuts!

    THIRD / FOURTH SEASON INFORMATION:

    • Due to contractual obligations to CBS and funding changes, David Marciano was back in a guest capacity only on the show. It was explained in the third season episode Spy vs. Spy" that Ray is now undercover as Armando 'the Bookman' Langoustini, a Mob lieutenant in Las Vegas. Ray's a dead ringer for the 'Bookman,' who died in a car crash. Stan was brought in to hastily replace Ray as the cover story was 'fragile.' Ray reappeared in the season finale Call of the Wild.
    • However, since he went undercover, IAD (unsuccessfully) went after him for stolen evidence. (Eclipse)
    • He was cleared of murder (well, cleared by Fraser and Stan, who unearthed the body in the stationhouse) of an old adversary whose body was found walled up in the police building. (Dead Guy Running)

    For information on the actor who portrays this character, please see the David Marciano page.


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    Copyright March 1997 by Elyse Dickenson.
    Last updated: July 28, 1998.

    This page may be reprinted for personal reading use only.
    Any other uses of this page are strictly prohibited without the specific written consent of the author.