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Edie Falco
Edie Falco 2010.jpg
Falco in 2010
Edith Falco

(1963-07-05) July 5, 1963 (age 59)
New York City, U.S.
Education State University of New York at Purchase (BFA)
Occupation Actress
Years active 1987–present
Children 2
Relatives Edward Falco (uncle)
Awards Full list

Edith Falco (born July 5, 1963) is an American actress. She is best known for portraying Carmela Soprano on the HBO series The Sopranos (1999–2007), and Nurse Jackie Peyton on the Showtime series Nurse Jackie (2009–2015). She also portrayed Diane Whittlesey in HBO's prison drama Oz (1997–2000).

In 2016, she played Sylvia Wittel on the web series Horace and Pete. In 2017, she portrayed defense attorney Leslie Abramson in the first season of the true crime anthology series Law & Order True Crime. Falco's film work includes lead roles in Laws of Gravity (1992), for which she was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead and Judy Berlin (1999), and supporting roles in films including Sunshine State (2002), Freedomland (2006), and The Comedian (2016). For her role in the 2011 Broadway revival of The House of Blue Leaves, she earned a nomination for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play.

Falco has won two Golden Globe awards (from eleven nominations) and four Emmy awards (from fourteen nominations), all for individual performances.

Early life

Falco was born in the New York City borough of Brooklyn on July 5, 1963, the daughter of Judith Anderson, an actress, and Frank Falco, a jazz drummer who later worked for an advertising agency. Her father was of Italian descent and her mother had Swedish, English and Cornish (1/16th) ancestry. She has two brothers, Joseph and Paul, and a sister, Ruth. Her uncle is novelist, playwright, and poet Edward Falco. In 2012, Falco was the subject of an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? which focused on one of her ancestors, a Cornish master mariner from Penzance who was born at sea and died in 1840.

From the age of four, Falco was raised on Long Island, moving with her family to Hicksville, then North Babylon, and finally West Islip. As a child, she acted in plays at the Arena Players Repertory Theater in East Farmingdale, where her mother also performed. 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. Falco graduated from Northport High School in 1981. She attended the acting program at State University of New York at Purchase, and graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting.


1987–1999: Early career

Edie Falco by David Shankbone
Falco in 2007

Early in her career, Falco made appearances on television shows like Law & Order and Homicide: Life on the Street. 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. 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.

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 went on to direct Falco in his feature film Judy Berlin, for which he won Best Director honors at the Sundance Film Festival. Falco went on to star in Mendelsohn's next film 3 Backyards, for which he won Best Director a second time.

During this time, Falco appeared in the films Trust, Cop Land, Private Parts (nonspeaking part), Random Hearts, 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.

In 1997, Falco started portraying prison officer Diane Whittlesey, in the HBO series Oz. Falco got the role after working with Fontana on Homicide.

1999–2007: The Sopranos

Falco received her breakout role in the HBO drama The Sopranos. The series premiered in 1999 and ended in 2007. She portrayed Carmela Soprano, wife of Mafia boss Tony Soprano. The series received wide acclaim, and is often considered to be one of the greatest television series of all time. For her role on the series, Falco won three Primetime Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and five Screen Actors Guild Awards. As of 2008, Falco, The X-Files star Gillian Anderson, Ugly Betty star America Ferrera, and 30 Rock's Tina Fey were 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 Soprano during the fourth season of The Sopranos. During her tenure on The Sopranos, Falco appeared in films such as Freedomland, and John Sayles' Sunshine State, for which she received the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress. Falco also guest starred on the television series Will & Grace and had a recurring role on the second season of 30 Rock as Celeste Cunningham.

2007–2015: Nurse Jackie and Horace and Pete

Falco starred as the title character in the Showtime dark comedy series Nurse Jackie, which premiered on June 8, 2009, and ended on June 28, 2015.

Edie Falco Shankbone 2009 Vanity Fair
Falco at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival

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. It was announced in January 2013 that Falco would star in Liz Flahive's The Madrid off-Broadway. The limited engagement, directed by Leigh Silverman, began previews on February 5 with an official opening on February 26. Along with Falco, the play starred John Ellison, Christopher Evan Welch, Phoebe Strole, and Frances Sternhagen.

2016–present: Return to television

In 2016, Falco started portraying Sylvia Wittel on the Louis CK series, Horace and Pete. The first episode was released on January 30, 2016, on C.K.'s website without any prior announcements. New episodes premiered weekly until the tenth episode was released on April 2, 2016.

In September 2017, she began portraying Leslie Abramson in the first season of the NBC true crime anthology series Law & Order True Crime, subtitled The Menendez Murders.

In 2020, she appeared as the lead character in the Paul Attanasio TV series Tommy.

Falco originally reprised her breakout role as Carmela Soprano for the 2021 film The Many Saints of Newark, a The Sopranos prequel. However, her scenes were cut from the finished film.

Falco also starred in the FX true crime series Impeachment as Hillary Rodham Clinton, wife of President Bill Clinton.


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?"

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. She said in an interview that it was difficult to be around the hard-partying cast of The Sopranos, stating, "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' 12-step program.

Falco is a Buddhist. She adopted a son in 2005 and a daughter in 2008. She is a vegan and has worked with PETA on projects, including a public-service message urging parents to keep their children away from the circus. She told Parade magazine, "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."


Not yet released Denotes works that have not yet been released


Year Film Role Notes
1987 Sweet Lorraine Karen Credited as Edith Falco
1989 The Unbelievable Truth Jane – The Waitress
Sidewalk Stories Woman in Carriage
1990 Trust Peg Coughlin
1991 I Was on Mars Female Cab Driver
1992 Laws of Gravity Denise
Time Expired Ginny Short film
1993 Rift Film Director
1994 Bullets over Broadway Lorna
1995 The Addiction Jean
Backfire! Mom
1996 Layin' Low Angie
The Funeral Union Speaker
Breathing Room Marcy
Childhood's End Patty
1997 Hurricane Streets Joanna
Private Parts Alison's Friend Uncredited
Cop Land Berta (Bomb Squad Agent)
Trouble on the Corner Vivian Stewart
Cost of Living Billie
1998 Blind Light Diana DiBianco
A Price Above Rubies Feiga
1999 Judy Berlin Judy Berlin
Stringer TV Producer
Random Hearts Janice
2000 Death of a Dog Mom
Overnight Sensation Festival Coordinator
2002 Sunshine State Marly Temple
2004 Family of the Year
2005 The Girl from Monday Judge
The Great New Wonderful Safarah Polsky Segment: "Emme's Story"
The Quiet Olivia Deer
2006 Freedomland Karen Colluci
2010 3 Backyards Peggy
2013 Gods Behaving Badly Artemis
2016 The Comedian Miller
2017 Landline Pat Jacobs
Megan Leavey Jackie Leavey
Outside In Carol Beasley
I Love You, Daddy Paula
2018 Every Act of Life Herself Documentary
Viper Club Charlotte
The Land of Steady Habits Helene Harris
2021 The Many Saints of Newark Carmela Soprano Scenes deleted
2022 Avatar: The Way of Water Not yet released General Ardmore Post-production
2024 Avatar 3 Not yet released Post-production
TBA Untitled Charlie Day film Not yet released Completed
TBA The Parenting Not yet released Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1993–1995 Loving Nurse Becker Recurring role, 14 episodes
1993–1997 Homicide: Life on the Street Eva Thormann Recurring role, 5 episodes
1993–1998 Law & Order Sally Bell 4 episodes
1995–1997 New York Undercover Sgt. Kelly 3 episodes
1996 The Sunshine Boys Carol Television film
1997 Firehouse Kate Wilkinson Television film
1997–2000 Oz Diane Whittlesey Recurring role, 23 episodes
1999–2007 The Sopranos Carmela Soprano Main role, 85 episodes
2000 The Sight Ghost Television film, uncredited
2001 Jenifer Wheelchair Saleswoman Teleivison film
2004 Will & Grace Deirdre 1 episode
2007–2008 30 Rock Celeste "C. C." Cunningham Recurring role, 4 episodes
2009–2015 Nurse Jackie Jackie Peyton Main role, 80 episodes
2016 Horace and Pete Sylvia Main role, 8 episodes
2017 Law & Order True Crime Leslie Abramson Main role, 8 episodes
2018 Animals. Psycho (voice) 1 episode
2020 Tommy Abigail "Tommy" Thomas Main role, 12 episodes
2020 Impractical Jokers: Dinner Party Herself 1 episode
2021 Impeachment: American Crime Story Hillary Clinton Main role, 7 episodes
TBA Bupkis Main role, upcoming series


Year Title Role Notes
1998 Side Man Terry Classic Stage Company
Mar 11, 1998 – Mar 29, 1998
1999 John Golden Theatre
Jan 8, 1999 – Jul 1999
2002 Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune Frankie Belasco Theatre
Aug 8, 2002 – Dec 29, 2002
2004–2005 'night, Mother Jessie Cates Royale Theatre
Nov 14, 2004 – Jan 9, 2005
2010 This Wide Night Lorraine Peter Jay Sharp Theater
May 8, 2010 – June 27, 2010
2011 The House of Blue Leaves Bananas Shaughnessy Walter Kerr Theatre
Apr 25, 2011 – Jun 25, 2011
2013 The Madrid Martha New York City Center - Stage I
Feb 5, 2013 – May 5, 2013
2018 The True Dorothea "Polly" Noonan Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre
Oct 12, 2018 – Oct 28, 2018
2021 Morning Sun Charley New York City Center - Stage I
Oct 12, 2021 – Dec 19, 2021

Awards and nominations

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