Jamie-Lynn Sigler came to most of us as Meadow Soprano on the mega hit "The Sopranos." Jamie has added much to the show - helping to create the best television series ever created. But it hasn't been easy. She was nearly recast early in the shooting.
Jamie was born in Long Island, New York, the third child of Connie and Steve Sigler. She's not Italian, contrary to her on-screen image. In fact, she's Cuban, Jewish-American, and Greek. She describes herself as "a little Jewish girl from Long Island."
She was a performer from very early on. At 3, she was already in dancing school, and by 7 she began acting and singing lessons as well. She began working in local theater, and nailed down a number of roles. She followed the path of many stars to Hollywood fame - grabbing an agent, hopping her way to Broadway, and eventually landing a big time gig. Her particular path lead her to the guidance of Lois Miller, of Star Management, and a well-publicized role as Anne Frank on the Broadway version of the classic tale. She took over for Natalie Portman, also a well known star in Hollywood.
Meanwhile, Jamie was also attending to the trials and tribulations of high school. She was attending Jericho Senior High School in New York, often taking independent study so she could continue to work on stage. Midway through high school she was cast as the daughter of an upcoming HBO series. Although this was huge news, no one had any idea the show would go on the astronomical heights it's reached.
While shooting the series, Jamie began to have a potentially life threatening problem. She developed anorexia nervosa, a medical condition heavily influenced by social factors and high expectations in which the diagnosed often refrains from eating in order to either lose weight or retain control over a certain aspect of their life. The technical definition of anorexia requires that the diagnosed be less than 85% of the recommended weight. Jamie's case began after a number of stressful factors, including the breakup of a relationship and the pressures associated with television work as well as trying to get accepted into college The struggle was bitter, and almost cost her the role on "The Sopranos." The series producers didn't want to see Jamie suffer, and thought that if she didn't get better, she wouldn't be allowed to return to the drama. "I felt like things were out of control," says Jamie. "I felt the one thing I could control was how much I ate and exercised. It became a little routine and it snowballed and became this huge obsession." Jamie has worked hard to change the situation and right her condition, and has also taken her struggle public to educate the millions of teenage girls who suffer from the disorder.
But good news was on the horizon. Jamie was accepted at New York University, majoring in Psychology. Unlike most actresses who have made it at such a young age, Jamie doesn't depend or plan on Hollywood to support her in years to come. Instead, she hopes to earn her degree and work toward becoming a theater therapist, working with disabled children.
Jamie now resides to her Los Angeles home with her husband. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends. When not working, Jamie enjoys reading, doing yoga and just relaxing on the beach.
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