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Edie Falco's 'Soprano' Encore

After a nearly 15-month hiatus, the television mob hit "The Sopranos" is coming back.

This season picks up after Edie Falco's character, Carmela Soprano, does something that is almost unheard of in her social circle: she asks her mob boss husband, Tony, for a divorce.

Carmela is the first lady of the New Jersey mob and enjoys all the perks. But she has found it increasingly difficult to reconcile the brutal nature of Tony's profession with her religious faith. Carmela is beginning to believe that her life may be better without Tony in it.

Falco tells The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith, "I'm not sure I totally understand intellectually the way a lot of this works, but I think it ebbs and flows. I'm imagining through the course of time. Sometimes it's more bearable than others or she's able to stay more deeply in denial at some times than she is at other times. I think it just overflowed."

And yet Falco says for some reason "Sopranos" fans see her as some sort of role model. She says, "I have to admit, when I first started hearing feedback from people that said she was a role model, I was truly surprised. I guess I didn't originally think of her in that way or as woman to set an example for everyone. Of course, I'm also not completely objective about it. Apparently that's what she's turned into, like she's living an exemplary life, which scares the hell out of me on one level, but also a huge compliment at the same time."

Not bad considering she has a great time on the show, she says, "I love every second of it." And she's content with the fact the critically acclaimed Emmy- and Peabody-winning HBO series has just one more season.

"It's sort of perfect to know we have another year," she says. "I think a lot of shows, television shows, have no idea. Every episode could be their last. On some level, they're always waiting for the axe to fall. I think we're really lucky to know how much time we have to prepare for the very big chapter. I think, in all of our lives. I know by the time we finish up, I will be ready to finish up."

To get a role like this, in which she has won every award there is to win, Falco says, "It's been huge. None of us knew actually going into it if the show would run, if it would be popular, if people would watch it. We certainly could never have guessed it would be what it has turned into. I also can't get too deeply into the world's perception of the show because it would be too hard to show up for work every day. I had no idea. And I had no idea how my life would change just having people recognize me, which is a mixed bag, you know - a lot of good things, a lot of scary things about it. But it involves a lot of transitional stuff that I'm still going through, still learning how to be this person."

Some Facts About Edie Falco

  • The daughter of jazz drummer Frank Falco and actress Judith Loney, Edith Falco was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1963.
  • Falco graduated from the acting program at State University of New York at Purchase. After graduating, she worked as a clown and other similar roles at weddings and birthday parties.
  • In 1989, Falco made her film debut in Hal Hartley's "The Unbelievable Truth."
  • In 1991, Falco re-teamed with Hartley to film "Trust."
  • In 1992, Falco co-starred in Nick Gomez's Brooklyn-set drama "Laws of Gravity."
  • From 1993 to 1996, the actress had a recurring role as the wife of a blinded police officer on NBC's "Homicide: Life on the Street."
  • In 1995, Falco was featured in a two-part guest starring role as a police sergeant on "New York Undercover."
  • In 1995, Falco starred alongside Lili Taylor and Christopher Walken in Abel Ferrara's "The Addiction."
  • In 1996, Falco made a brief appearance in Ferrara's "The Funeral."
  • In 1996, Falco starred in the crime-themed comedy "Layin' Low."
  • In 1996, Falco originated the role of the alcoholic mother in Warren Leight's semi-autobiographical play "Side Man" in workshop productions.
  • In 1997, Falco played Sheriff Marge Gunderson in a failed pilot based on the 1996 hit film "Fargo."
  • In 1997, Falco was featured in the films "Cop Land," "Hurricane Streets" and "Trouble on the Corner"; she had featured role as prison guard Diane Wittlesey in the HBO drama "Oz."
  • In 1998, Falco won the Los Angeles AFI Film Festival Best Actress award for her performance in "Cost of Living."
  • In 1999, Falco was cast as Mafia wife Carmela Soprano in the acclaimed HBO series "The Sopranos"; garnered Emmy Awards in 1999 and 2001.
  • In 1999, Falco played title role in the independent feature "Judy Berlin" and she had a supporting role in the Harrison Ford drama "Random Hearts"; Falco also made her Broadway debut replacing Wendy Makkena as Terry in "Side Man."
  • In 2000, Falco reprised stage role in "Side Man" in the London production, co-starring Jason Priestley.
  • In 2001, Falco acted in "The Vagina Monologues" in London.
  • In 2002, Falco was featured in the John Sayles drama "Sunshine State."
  • In 2002, Falco returned to the New York City stage opposite Stanley Tucci in "Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune."
  • In 2004, Falco guest-starred on an episode of "Will & Grace," as a lesbian real-estate speculator.
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