Dec. 31, 2021 – It’s hard to imagine that this talented, hardworking actor ever struggled with alcohol abuse. But Falco shared with The Guardian that she’s battled addiction since her college days at SUNY Purchase in New York. Unlike other aspiring actors in her class, like Stanly Tucci and Ving Rhames, Edie was shy. Alcohol made her less shy. She also said, despite it solving one of her problems, it soon became the cause of many problems, too.

Now 58, Falco did not see her career take off until she achieved sobriety at 29 years old. Several years later, she landed her first full-time role in Oz. Then came The Sopranos.  Sobriety seems to have helped her career. Before then, Falco worked one-off acting gigs and waitressed. She still claims she was a waitress for 20 years and not an actor. All that changed when she was cast as Correctional Officer Diane Whittlesey in Oz. When asked if she wanted Nurse Jackie to have similar struggles with addiction, Falco replied with a clear “never, never, never.” She explained that alcoholism is a disease. If left untreated the outcome is not good. She was reluctant to see anything funny about addiction. 

The star of the show thought she’d successfully persuaded the production team to depict a realistic ending to the series. To Falco, a realistic ending meant Jackie would either go to AA meetings or she would die.