Leah Remini

Active - 1992 - 2018  |   Born - Jun 15, 1970 in Brooklyn, New York, United States  |   Genres - Comedy

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Biography by Lucia Bozzola

A veteran of several failed TV sitcoms, sassy Leah Remini finally scored a hit when she was cast as comedian Kevin James's wife on the CBS series The King of Queens (1998).

Born June 15th, 1979 in Brooklyn, NY, Remini moved to Los Angeles as a teen. After leaving school at 14, Remini held a variety of jobs for a couple of years before deciding to try acting. Though she was advised to lose her Brooklyn accent, Remini quickly landed a guest role on ABC's gifted high schoolers sitcom Head of the Class. Working steadily from the late '80s on, Remini guest starred on a number of comedies, including Friends, Cheers (as Carla's daughter), and a year-long stint on Saved By the Bell, and began to amass a resumé of short-lived series. After starring in Living Dolls in 1989, Remini was cast in The Man in the Family (1991) and First Time Out (1995); though Fired Up (1997) looked promising, it too failed after leaving its post-Seinfeld time slot. Along with the sitcoms, Remini also appeared in the TV movie Getting Up and Going Home (1992) and Glory Daze (1996), a coming-of-age feature starring then unknown Ben Affleck.

A seasoned TV actress by 1998, Remini got to put her New York roots (and accent) to successful use in The King of Queens, a family comedy in the Everybody Loves Raymond vein. As blue collar James' pretty, levelheaded wife Carrie, Remini proved an adept foil to James and a flamboyant Jerry Stiller; The King of Queens became Remini's first bona fide ratings hit.

Movie Highlights

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  • After dropping out of school at 14, she worked as a waitress, cashier and bill collector.
  • First acting job came with a bit part in an episode of the sitcom Head of the Class.
  • Played a recurring role on Cheers from 1991 to 1993 as Carla Tortelli's rebellious daughter Serafina.
  • Auditioned for the role of Monica on Friends.
  • Regularly contributed to the nationally syndicated Don and Mike radio show; cohost Don Geronimo appeared as a guest on her sitcom The King of Queens.
  • Appeared in the VH1 series (Inside) Out twice: first in 2003 to document her marriage to Angelo Pagan and then in 2003 to capture the birth of her daughter.
  • Member of the Church of Scientology.