Marianne Leone

«When I was a kid, I wanted to be a saint, a reporter and a cowboy. I didn't become a saint, but I married a cowboy and sometimes I write for the Boston Globe». An actress and author of Italian descent, Leone was born in a small town just a few miles from Boston and she spent her childhood in a community of migrants from San Donato in Comino, attending Catholic school She married the actor Chris Cooper in 1983, and together they had a son Jesse, who died at the age of seventeen. Her film career began in 1988 with "The Thin Blue Line"; she recently starred in the films "Joy" and "I Hate Valentine's Day". Her longest running recurring role is as Joanne Moltisanti in "The Sopranos" from 2002 to 2007. In 2010, she published "Jesse: A Mother's Story", in which she talks about her difficult experiences with her disabled son: searching for suitable schools, the constant attention and worry. In the book, the author never fails to construct the situation with strong sense of positivity and hope, without ever aspiring for utopianism. The American writer Tom Perrotta defined it as «an incandescent memoir, glowing with a mother's love for her disabled son, and fuelled by her righteous anger at a system that failed time and time again to acknowledge his humanity». A few years after the tragic event, she founded the Jesse Cooper Foundation together with her husband, a non-profit organization that deals with educational integration and access to sport activities for children with special needs.

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