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Marianne Leone

actress, screenwriter

An accomplished screenwriter and essayist, Marianne Leone is also a film and television actress best known for her role as Christopher Moltisanti’s mother on “The Sopranos.” Her memoir, *Knowing Jesse: A Mother’s Story of Grief, Grace, and Everyday Bliss*, details her family’s struggle after her son, Jesse Lanier Cooper, born three months premature, developed a cerebral hemorrhage and cerebral palsy. Bestselling author Tom Perrotta says of the book: “*Knowing Jesse* is an incandescent memoir, glowing with a mother’s love for her disabled son and fueled by her righteous anger. With fierce honesty and unexpected humor, Marianne Leone illuminates the challenges of Jesse’s life, the courage with which he faced them, and the joy he brought those lucky enough to know him.” After his death in 2005, Leone and her husband, actor Chris Cooper, set up a memorial fund in Jesse’s name and have become advocates for children with disabilities around the world.