“The high-grossing films are not all that interesting to me, I have to say. It’s not stuff I would want to be in. Yes, you would want the big paycheck, but that’s never really been my concern.” Edie Falco
One of America’s most well-respected television and film actresses, Edie Falco is celebrated for being the only performer to have won the top three television award (an Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Awards) in the same year in 2000 thanks to her acclaimed performance as the cautious Mafia wife in the HBO award-winning series “The Sopranos” (1999-2006). Prior to that, she received attention for her regular performance in “OZ” (1997-1999), and had impressive recurring roles on “Homicide: Life on the Street” (1993-1999) and “Law & Order” (1993-1998).
The three-time Emmy winner is also an accomplished movie actress. Falco picked up an AFI Festival Award for her starring role in Cost of Living (1997), and more recently won a Satellite Award and a Los Angeles Film Critics Association for her scene-stealing role in John Sayles’ Sunshine State (2002). Other remarkable works include Hal Hartley’s The Unbelievable Truth (1989) and Trust (1990), Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway (1994), Morgan J. Freeman’s Hurricane Streets (1997) and Random Hearts (1999).
Off camera, American beauty of Swedish and Italian heritage Falco came out on the political scene as a spokesperson for M.O.B. (Mothers Opposing Bush) on presidential election in 2004. She supported Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry. The self-described introverted but is obviously a humorous and down-to-earth person was treated for breast cancer in 2004 and has now fully recovered from the disease.
Privately speaking, the 5’ 5” tall, blonde performer became romantically involved with actor/director John Devlinfrom 1996 to 2000 and with her Frankie and Johnny co-star, Stanley Tucci, from 2002 to March 2004. She is becomes the mother of a 2004 born adopted son, Anderson Falco.
Childhood and Family:
Daughter of art director and jazz drummer Frank Falco and former actress Judith M. Anderson (aka. Judith Lonely), Edie Falco was born Edith Falco on July 5, 1963, in Brooklyn, New York. She was raised in Islip, New York, along with her two brothers, Joe (born in 1961) and Paul, and her sister Ruth (born in 1967). Her uncle, Ed Falco, is famous fiction writer who teaches at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and she has an adopted son, Anderson Falco (born in December 2004), who was named after her mother.
Edie, whose nickname is Kitten, graduated from Northport High School in Northport, New York, in 1981, and studied drama at State University of New York at Purchase, where she was trained in acting at the prominent Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film. Upon receiving her B.F.A in 1986, Edie worked as a clown and other comparable roles at birthday parties and weddings in Manhattan, while making audition circuits.
A 1986 graduate from the acting program at SUNY Purchase, Edie Falco got her start working as a clown and other similar roles at wedding and birthday parties for an entertainment company, before cracking into the cinematic industry with great work at fellow-Purchase alum Hal Hartley’s films, The Unbelievable Truth (1989) and Trust (1990). The latter saw her memorably play the shamelessly trampy older sister of a pregnant cheerleader (Adrienne Shelly).
Following a series of supporting parts in films, including one in Nick Gomez’s Brooklyn-set drama Laws of Gravity (1992), Falco eventually landed her first notable part in Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway (1994), starring John Cusack. She subsequently appeared in Abel Ferrara’s films The Addiction (1995, starred Lili Taylor and Christopher Walken) and The Funeral (1996) and the crime-themed comedy Layin’ Low (1996). Also in 1996, she originated the role of the alcoholic mother in Warren Leight’s semi-autobiographical play “Side Man.”
Paradoxically, it was on TV where Falco’s career first blossomed. Getting her first recurring roles in 1993, on the acclaimed police dramas “Homicide: Life on the Street” (1993-1997, as a blinded police officer’s spouse Eva Thormann) and “Law & Order” (1993-1998, played a Legal Aid lawyer named Sally Bell), and having a two-part guest starring role as a police sergeant on the Fox series “New York Undercover” (1995),
Falco began receiving stature in 1997 as the sympathetic Officer Diane Whittlesey on the HBO dramatic series “Oz,” a job she retained until 1999.
The increasing admiration and recognition she collected for her television work was capably harmonized by the approval she was increasingly earning for her work on the big screen. After taking home an AFI Festival for Best Actress for her work in the thriller film Cost of Living (1997), the conservatory-trained Falco delivered fine performances that same year in such films as Cop Land, Morgan J. Freeman’s Hurricane Streets (as a jailed mother) and Trouble on the Corner (all 1997). She
However, Falco did not score massive victory until she was cast as Carmela Soprano in the successful and critically acclaimed HBO series “The Sopranos” in 1999. As the precautious Mafia wife who decided to keep her family together and to keep her husband’s criminal activities hidden from her children, she brought a many-sided spin to her presentation that won her well-deserved critical accolades and many awards, like three Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actress, two Golden Globes for Best Performance by an Actress, two SAG for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor, a 2002 Satellite for Best Performance by an Actress, a 2002 AFI for Actress of the Year and a 2003 Television Critics Association for Individual Achievement in Drama.
The same year, Falco received her strongest screen notices to date for her title role in the Eric Mendelsohn-helmed independent drama Judy Berlin (released theatrically in 2000), where she played an aspiring actress struggling to break out of her small Long Island town, and had her first major role in a mainstream Hollywood film with a supporting part opposite Harrison Ford and Kristin Scott Thomas in Sydney Pollac’s Random Hearts. Also, she replaced Wendy Makkena as Terry in her Broadway debut, “Side Man,” a role she reprised in 2000 at the London production with Jason Priestley.
Now a well-known figure thanks to the devastating popularity of “The Sopranos,” Falco made an auspicious comeback to the big screen with a co-starring role opposite Alex Lewis and Angela Bassett in the John Sayles drama Sunshine State (2002), where she was perfectly cast as a broken Floridian who abruptly awakens to romance. For her effort, the actress was handed a Satellite and a Los Angeles Film Critics Association for Best Supporting Actress. She also resurfaced on the NYC stage with 2002’s “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune,” opposite Stanley Tucci.
While still enjoying her highly acclaimed TV work on “The Sopranos,” Falco could also be seen in such features as The Girl from Monday (2005), The Great New Wonderful (2005, as the Queen of Cake), The Quiet (2005, with Camilla Belle), and hosted the PBS special “Frozen Angels” (2005), an study into the future of reproductive technology that was shown at Sundance Film Festival.
The 43-year-old actress portrayed a child kidnap activist, Karen Collucci, in Freedomland (2006), a drama directed by Joe Roth and based on Richard Price's acclaimed novel of the same name, and in 2008, she is set to play a role in director Todd Graff’’s upcoming drama film Cult Fig.
- Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, The Sopranos, 2003
- Golden Globes: Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama, The Sopranos, 2003
- Television Critics Association: Individual Achievement in Drama, The Sopranos, 2003
- Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series, The Sopranos, 2003
- Satellite: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role - Drama, Sunshine State 2003
- Los Angeles Film Critics Association: Best Supporting Actress, Sunshine State, 2002
- AFI: AFI Actor of the Year - Female - Series, The Sopranos, 2002
- Satellite: Best Performance by an Actress in a Series - Drama, The Sopranos, 2002
- Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, The Sopranos, 2001
- Golden Globes: Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama, The Sopranos, 2000
- Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series, The Sopranos, 2000
- Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, The Sopranos, 2000
- AFI Fest: Best Actress, Cost of Living, 1997