Long Island is a place that breeds talent. Billy Joel, Alec Baldwin, magician Criss Angel and jazz legend John Coltrane—those are just some famous names that showcase the diversity that has dwelled in these parts. The same can be said for the small screen. Take a look at seven of the most recognized TV actors of our time that just so happen to be from Long Island.
Top Long Island Musicians Ever
Seinfeld or Friends? It was a common debate in the 90s. Long Islanders should probably stick with the former to support one of their own. Jerry Seinfeld was a funny kid from Massapequa who grew up to be a revered stand-up comic and the co-creator of Seinfeld where he of course also starred. The comedian jokes about growing up on Long Island along with life before fame in Jerry Before Seinfeld, an hour-long Netflix special out on Sept. 19.
Kevin James may have starred in The King of Queens (1998-2007), but the comedian was born in Mineola and raised in Stony Brook. And he doesn’t hide his Long Island pride. His latest show, Kevin Can Wait, is filmed entirely at Bethpage’s Gold Coast Studios making it the first sitcom to be filmed on the Island. The show is even set in Massapequa.
Arguably one of the greatest shows of all time, HBO’s The Sopranos (1999-2007) made Edie Falco a bona fide star. She nailed her role as Carmela Soprano, the wife of mafia boss Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini). Falco even won three Emmys for the role. The actress, who lived in Hicksville, North Babylon and West Islip, won another Emmy in 2010 for playing the lead in Showtime’s Nurse Jackie (2009-2015). Fans can soon catch her in the TV mini-series Law & Order: True Crime focusing on the famed Menendez murders.
A movie star who later gained serious praise for his role as Enoch ‘Nucky’ Thompson on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire (2010-2014), Steve Buscemi grew up in Valley Stream and attended Valley Stream Central High School. Buscemi won a Golden Globe and two solo Screen Actors Guild Awards for his role. His notable TV appearances didn’t stop there; he appeared in The Sopranos from 2004-2006 and 30 Rock from 2007-2013.
Full House was one of the most famous shows in the late 80s and 90s. Hauppauge native Lori Loughlin starred as Rebecca Donaldson-Katsopolis from 1988-1995. Along with several more future TV roles, Loughlin reprised her role in the current spinoff Fuller House on Netflix with most of the original cast members.
Melissa Joan Hart
From Clarissa Explains It All to Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Melissa Joan Hart was the idol of many children growing up in the 90s. The Sayville native hasn’t disappeared either. She appeared in several movies throughout the years and the TV series Melissa & Joey from 2010-2015.
An iconic soap opera star, Susan Lucci grew up in Garden City. It seems she couldn’t shake her Long Island roots as she’s back living in her childhood neighborhood. Although she’s appeared in other shows, Lucci’s role as Erica Kane on All My Children from 1970-2011 will forever be engraved in the minds of fans. And to think she was once told she would never be on TV because of he dark hair, eyes and olive skin.
Want to see lights and cameras in action? Check back Thursday for a list of shows filmed on Long Island.