Edith Falco is an American television, film and stage actress, known for her roles as Diane Whittlesey in the HBO series Oz and Carmela Soprano on the HBO series The Sopranos, for which she received six Emmy nominations, winning three for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series as well as winning two Golden Globes and five Screen Actors Guild Awards. Take a look below for 30 more awesome and fascinating facts about Edie Falco.
1. Falco was born in New York City’s Brooklyn borough, to Judith Anderson, an actress, and Frank Falco, a jazz drummer who later worked for an advertising agency.
2. Her father was of Italian descent and her mother’s ancestry was Swedish and English.
3. Falco’s siblings are Joseph, Paul, and Ruth.
4. Her uncle is novelist, playwright, and poet Edward Falco, an English professor at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.
5. From the age of four, she was raised on Long Island, moving with her family to Hicksville, followed by North Babylon, then West Islip.
6. As a child she acted in plays at the Arena Players Repertory Theater in East Farmingdale, where her mother also performed.
7. Her family eventually moved to Northport, where she attended high school and played Eliza Doolittle in a production of My Fair Lady during her senior year.
8. Falco graduated from Northport High School in 1981.
9. She attended the acting program at SUNY Purchase, along with fellow actors Stanley Tucci, Paul Schulze and Ving Rhames.
10. She graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting.
11. Early in her career, Falco made appearances on television shows like Law & Order and Homicide: Life on the Street.
12. Tom Fontana, executive producer 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.
13. Her first big break in films was a small speaking role in the 1994 Woody Allen film Bullets over Broadway.
14. Falco received her breakout role in the HBO drama, The Sopranos.
15. Falco starred as the title character in the Showtime dark comedy series Nurse Jackie, which premiered in June 8, 2009, and ended on June 28, 2015.
16. In 2011, Falco played 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.
17. In 2016, Falco started portraying Sylvia Wittel on the Louis CK series, Horace and Pete.
18. During the 2004 U.S. presidential election, Falco appeared in a 30-second television commercial on behalf of Mothers Opposing Bush in which she said, “Mothers always put their children first. Mr. Bush, can you say the same?”
19. 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.
20. Falco has become the spokesperson for Health Care for America Now and appeared on CNN on June 25, 2009.
21. In 2003, Falco was diagnosed with breast cancer. She chose not to make the news public until the following year.
22. Falco has had struggles with alcohol and decided to become sober sometime in the early 1990s after “one particular night of debauchery.”
23. She said in an interview that it was difficult 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.”
24. She is an advocate of Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12-step program.
25. Falco is a Buddhist.
26. Falco adopted a son, Anderson, in 2005, and a daughter, Macy, in 2008.
27. In 2012, Falco was the subject of an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? which focused on her descent from the daughter of a Cornish master mariner, from Penzance, who was born at sea and died in 1840.
28. Falco is vegan and has worked with PETA on projects, including a public-service message urging parents to keep their children away from the circus.
29. She told Parade magazine that, “I believe this is at the base of everything bad in society—you can bring it back to cruelty to animals. If you don’t have respect for the life of any kind, it will manifest in more obvious ways.”
30. In 1997, Falco started portraying prison officer Diane Whittlesey, in the HBO series Oz. Falco got the role after working with Fontana on Homicide.