Known as part of "the Purchase Mafia" thanks to her status as one of the many illustrious alumni of the State University of New York at Purchase, Edie Falco is one of America's most well-respected television and film actresses. A native of Brooklyn, Falco, who is of Sicilian heritage, was born in 1963. She got her professional start acting in fellow-Purchase alum Hal Hartley's films, most notably Trust (1991), which cast her as the unrepentantly trampy older sister of a pregnant cheerleader (Adrienne Shelly). Falco spent the 1990s dividing her time and talent between TV and film, doing recurring work on such series as Homicide: Life on the Street and Law and Order, and appearing in a slew of diverse films that included Woody Allen's Bullets over Broadway (1994) and The Addiction (1995).
In 1997, Falco began earning kudos for her performance as Officer Diane Whittlesey on the HBO prison drama Oz; she stayed with the show for two years, after which she garnered even greater acclaim for her work on another HBO series, The Sopranos. Cast as Carmela Soprano, wife of Mafioso Tony Soprano, Falco won Emmies and Golden Globes for her work on the show, sticking with it until its conclusion in 2007. Falco would also cearn accolades for her film work, in movies like Hurricane Streets, Judy Berlin, and Freedomland. The small screen would continue to offer Falco great opportunities to display her talent, however, with her title role on the medical drama Nurse Jackie.