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Edie Falco (1963)

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  Summary  

Edith "Edie" Falco is an American television, film and stage actress, known for her roles in Oz as Diane Wittlesey, as Carmela Soprano on the HBO series The Sopranos, and as the titular character on the Showtime series Nurse Jackie. She is the first actress to win an Emmy for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy as well as Outstanding Actress in a Drama.

  Biography  

 early life
Falco was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Judith Anderson, an actress, and Frank Falco, a jazz drummer. Her father is Italian American and her mother Swedish American. Falco's siblings are Joseph, Paul and Ruth. Her uncle is novelist, playwright and poet Edward Falco, an English professor at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. She was raised in Northport and West Islip, on Long Island. Falco graduated from Northport High School in 1981, after playing Eliza Doolittle in a production of My Fair Lady. She attended the Acting Program at SUNY Purchase with fellow actors Stanley Tucci and Ving Rhames; she remains friends with both.

 career
Early in her career, Falco made appearances on television shows like Law & Order and Homicide: Life on the Street. Tom Fontana, executive director of Homicide, cast Falco as Eva Thormann, the wife of an injured police officer, after watching Falco's performance in Laws of Gravity, a 1992 film directed by Nick Gomez. Fontana said of her, "She's an actress who's unadorned by any embroidery. She does everything with such simplicity and honesty, it's breathtaking." A struggling actress at the time, Falco said her salary from these television episodes paid for one month's worth of rent. Fontana cast Falco as a regular character, prison officer Diane Wittlesey, in his HBO series Oz based on her work in the Homicide episodes "Son of a Gun" and "A Shot in the Dark".

Her first big break in films was a small speaking role in the 1994 Woody Allen film Bullets Over Broadway. Her friendship with former SUNY Purchase classmate Eric Mendelsohn, who was the assistant to Allen's costume designer, Jeffrey Kurland, helped her to be cast in the role. Mendelsohn would go on to direct Falco in his feature film Judy Berlin, for which he won "Best Director" honors at the Sundance Film Festival. Falco would go on to star in Mendelsohn's next film "3 Backyards", for which he won "Best Director" a second time. Mendelsohn is the only director to ever win this award twice.

Falco, The X-Files star Gillian Anderson, Ugly Betty star America Ferrera, and 30 Rock's Tina Fey are the only actresses to have received a Golden Globe, an Emmy and a SAG Award in the same year. Falco won these awards in 2003 for her performance as Carmela during the fourth season of The Sopranos.

Edie has won four Emmys, two Golden Globes and five Screen Actors Guild Awards. Falco is the second actor to have won Emmys for lead acting in both a Drama and a Comedy series (the first actor to do so was Carroll O'Connor).

Falco has appeared in the films Trust, Cop Land, Private Parts (non-speaking part), Random Hearts, Freedomland, and John Sayles' Sunshine State, for which she received the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for "Best Supporting Actress". On Broadway, she appeared in the Tony Award-winning Side Man and in the revivals of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune opposite Stanley Tucci, and 'night, Mother opposite Brenda Blethyn. She has also appeared as a guest star on the television shows 30 Rock and Will & Grace.

Edie stars as the title character in the Showtime dark comedy series Nurse Jackie, which premiered in June 2009.

She is currently playing the part of Bananas in the Broadway revival of House of Blue Leaves in New York City with Ben Stiller and Jennifer Jason Leigh, for which she received her first and only Tony Award nomination.

 politics
During the 2004 U.S. presidential election, Falco appeared in a 30-second television commercial on behalf of M.O.B. in which she said "Mothers always put their children first. Mr. Bush, can you say the same?" referring to George W. Bush who was running for re-election.

Records show that she donated $1,000 to John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign, $300 to the Democratic National Committee in 2004, and two separate sums of $1,000 and $300 to Hillary Clinton in 2005.

Edie Falco has become the spokesperson for Health Care for America Now and appeared on CNN on June 25, 2009.

 personal life
In 2003, Falco was diagnosed with breast cancer. She chose not to make the news public until the following year.

Falco had problems with alcohol and decided to become sober after "one particular night of debauchery." She said in an interview that it is hard to be around the hard-partying cast of The Sopranos; "This cast in particular, they really love to hang out and party. They make it look like fun. And it was fun for me! They spend a lot more time without me than with me, by my own choice—I'm always invited, and I'm always there for two minutes and I leave, because I can't live in that world anymore. It's too dangerous." She is an advocate of Alcoholics Anonymous's 12-step program.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Edie Falco", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.