LEAH REMINI Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


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A proud Brooklynite through and through, Leah Remini was born in the New York City borough on June 15, 1970. Her Sicilian father and Jewish mother, who hails from Monaco, encouraged Leah to stick to academics, but she dropped out of high school at the age of 14. Lured by the Hollywood opportunities of Los Angeles - her home since her teenage years - Remini saw acting as her salvation. Her mother, a guiding force in her life to this day, encouraged this pursuit, knowing that it would lead to great achievements despite her daughter’s lack of proper education. Before Hollywood really lured her in, Remini worked as a car insurance salesman, waitress and telemarketer.


This tough, stubborn beauty (she was advised to drop her Brooklyn accent, but refused) finally got her first role in a 1988 episode of Head of the Class. Now closer to adulthood, she was able to take more control of her career’s direction and doggedly went to every audition possible. Her persistence paid off when she landed the role of Samantha Micelli’s (Alyssa Milano) friend in two episodes of Who’s the Boss? and landed a recurring role as part of the cast of Living Dolls, a spin-off of Who’s the Boss?, in 1989.


More small-time work molded Remini into the comedian she is today: she played Carla’s (Rhea Perlman) daughter in Cheers and starred in the short-lived sitcom, First Time Out. Though a big opportunity seemingly passed her by after Remini didn’t get the role of Monica in the soon-to-be huge show Friends (of course, Courteney Cox Arquette landed the gig), she continued to work hard in episodes of The Commish, Diagnosis Murder and the 1996 film Glory Daze, with Ben Affleck. And even though the casting directors of Friends overlooked her, she was called in to make a guest appearance in the first season of the “Must-See TV” sitcom.


After doing a spot on NYPD Blue, Remini felt it was about time a consistent role came her way. Her wishes came true when, in 1997, she got a lead role alongside Sharon Lawrence in NBC’s Fired Up. Unfortunately, the string of unsuccessful programs that Remini was involved with continued after the sitcom was canceled in 1998.


Her career finally showed promise later that year, when she was cast to play Carrie Heffernan opposite accomplished and rotund comedian Kevin James in the then-new CBS sitcom, The King of Queens. With a great supporting cast, including Jerry Stiller, the show flourished and so did Remini. She was recognized as much for her comedy as her beauty, and remains one of the reasons The King of Queens continues to thrive.


In addition to this success, Remini has captured many men’s attention in FHM and Stuff spreads and cracked people up in the 2003 film Old School. Though it took a while for her to get established in television, she is finally reveling in the limelight of success. And by the looks of it, Remini will be TV royalty for a long time.