|Born||Leah Marie Remini
June 15, 1970
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Leah Marie Remini (born June 15, 1970) is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Carrie Heffernan on the CBS hit sitcom The King of Queens from 1998 to 2007. Prior to The King of Queens, she was known for her six episode stint as Stacey Carosi in 1991 on the NBC sitcom Saved by the Bell. She was also one of the co-hosts on the CBS network daytime talk show/series The Talk, before being fired in 2011.
Leah Remini was born in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York City, to private-school teacher Vicki Marshall and George Remini, who owned an asbestos-removal company. Her mother is of Austrian Jewish background and her father was Sicilian. Remini has an older sister, Nicole Remini (born 1969), who was her assistant on The King of Queens. She also has four half-sisters, including Christina (born 1969). Remini moved to Los Angeles, California, at age 13 with her mother to pursue an acting career.
One of Remini's early television roles was on Who's the Boss? as Charlie Briscoe, which led to a spin-off series entitled Living Dolls, where Remini starred with Halle Berry. The show premiered in late 1989 and ran for 12 episodes, after a series of negative reviews from television critics and poor ratings.
Remini guest-starred on Saved by the Bell, playing Stacey Carosi. She then appeared in two short-lived series, First Time Out and Fired Up. In 1994, Remini auditioned for the role of Monica Geller in Friends, but the role went to Courteney Cox; however, she did appear in the 1995 episode "The One with the Birth." In 1998, Remini landed the role of Carrie Heffernan on the CBS sitcom The King of Queens. During her time on the show, she had a supporting role in the comedy film Old School (2003). Remini also starred in her own reality show, which aired on VH1. The King of Queens ran for nine seasons, from September 21, 1998, to May 14, 2007. Since The King of Queens ended, Remini has starred in nine-episode webisodes of In the Motherhood, along with Chelsea Handler and Jenny McCarthy. She has made two guest appearances on Chelsea Lately. On December 15, 2009, Remini appeared as Carrie Heffernan on Lopez Tonight, with George Lopez as Doug Heffernan in an episode reuniting the cast of the George Lopez sitcom. Remini and Holly Robinson Peete appeared on The Young and the Restless on July 28, 2011.
In October 2011, it was announced that Remini signed a talent development deal at ABC and ABC Studios that requires the network and the studio to develop a comedy project for Remini to star in and produce. In March 2012, it was announced that Remini will star in the ABC comedy Family Tools, a remake of the UK comedy series White Van Man. The series premiered on May 1, 2013, and was not renewed due to low ratings, ending its run on July 10, 2013.
On September 4 that year, it was announced publicly on Good Morning America that Remini would compete as a contestant on season 17 of Dancing with the Stars, in which she was partnered with professional dancer, Tony Dovolani. The couple were eliminated on the tenth week of competition, reaching fifth place and losing a place in the final.
On November 22, 2013, it was announced that Remini will be cast in the TV Land original comedy The Exes, filling a recurring role starting in the third season. It has been announced as well that Remini will have a new reality show starring she and her family coming to TLC. According to Remini, the purpose of the show is to highlight that she's a normal person just like everyone else, that celebrity doesn't change that.
Remini was a co-host on The Talk, a CBS talk show which premiered October 18, 2010. Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Holly Robinson Peete, and Sharon Osbourne were her co-hosts. The show is similar to The View and seeks to address motherhood and contemporary issues. Remini drew criticism within the first week of the show's debut, accused of being too loud, brash, and obtrusive. It was stated on one episode that she had received a significant amount of negative Twitter feedback on this subject. Remini addressed the issue, stating she refused to change who she is and asserting that thousands of fans like her for who she is. Her co-hosts supported her response. After the first season ended, Remini was not asked to return to the show. Just weeks after Remini was let go, her former co-host Holly Robinson Peete was also informed that her contract was not being renewed.
Failure to disclose why Remini and Peete were let go brought on a great deal of criticism of the show and protests from the stars' fans. While there was much speculation that their former Talk co-host, Julie Chen, had involvement in the decision as she's married to the CBS President and CEO, Leslie Moonves, it was Sharon Osbourne, their other former Talk co-host, who explained their dismissals in December 2011 on The Howard Stern Show, stating: "Some people don't really know who they are. And you have to know who you are when you're in something like this. You can't pretend to be something you're not. You have to know your brand. You can't be all things to everyone." Osbourne commented on the failure to let Remini and Peete know why they were let go, asking, "Why should we call them to discuss?"
In March 2012, a heavily publicized Twitter dispute ignited between Remini and Osbourne when Remini fired back at Osbourne for her comments on The Howard Stern Show. In response to questions from her Twitter followers, Remini tweeted:
"Ask Sharon. She had us fired...Sharon thought me and Holly were too 'Ghetto'. (her words) we were not funny, awkward and didn't know ourselves." Haters Gon' Hate. True. But, Haters have the balls to say they 'Hate'...not call themselves your friend. She had us fired all the while calling me and Holly her friend. Heartbreaking. Yes. She had us fired she told Howard Stern. Explains why she never called us back."
In response, Osbourne tweeted:
Leah knows that I have never been in the position to hire or fire anyone on the show. That being said, my only wish is that Leah would just stop all this negative, unprofessional and childish behavior. It's been seven months. It's time to move on. Leah is a very talented actress and I only wish her happiness and success. I know that better things are to come if she can just get beyond this negativity."
Remini tweeted by challenging Osbourne to establish what statements of Remini's were untrue in a court of law.
While co-hosting The Talk, Remini turned down various parts on situation comedies, stating that any new role would make her feel as if she were cheating on Doug Heffernan, her character's husband on The King of Queens. She also stated she needs more time for her daughter, Sofia.
Remini met Puerto Rican salsa musician Angelo Pagán in 1996 at a Cuban restaurant. Pagan has three sons from previous relationships. In January 2003, Remini announced their engagement; they were married on July 19, 2003. On June 16, 2004, the day after her 34th birthday, Remini gave birth to daughter Sofia Bella, who weighed 6 lb/7.4 oz.
For over thirty years Remini was a member of the Church of Scientology. In December 2005, she helped promote the gala opening of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights Psychiatry: An Industry of Death museum on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Responding to criticism of Scientology during an interview on CNN, Remini said:
If somebody is going to get turned off about something because of what they read or heard, then that person's not smart enough to even enter a church. If you're really against something, then know what you're against.
In July 2013, Remini left the Church of Scientology owing to policies that forbid members from questioning the management of church leader David Miscavige, which she believed was corrupt; the reported abuse of members of its Sea Org religious order; its policy of "disconnection"; and its practice of branding those who have left the church of their own accord as "Suppressive Persons." According to former high-ranking Sea Org member Mike Rinder, Remini's problems with the Church began when she asked about the whereabouts of Miscavige's wife Shelly at the 2006 wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, and was told profanely that she lacked the rank to do so. Remini then filed a "knowledge report" that was critical of Miscavige, Cruise, and other senior Scientology members and behavior on the part of members that was inconsistent with Church rules. She was subsequently "subjected to years of 'interrogations' and 'thought modification'" that led to her being blacklisted within the Church, while fellow parishioners with whom she had been friends for decades wrote internal reports about her, resulting in a Church investigation into her family. During a September 9, 2013, appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Remini discussed her departure from the Church and the loss of friends who are still in the Church and, according to Remini, not permitted to have contact with her.
Following her departure from the Church, she publicly expressed her appreciation for those who supported her departure. Remini's sister, Nicole, who had earlier left the Church herself, revealed that the rest of their family left the Church along with her in order to avoid being split up by the Church's disconnection policy. Writer/director Paul Haggis, who had previously been the most famous person to publicly disavow Scientology, wrote an open letter published by The Hollywood Reporter in which he thanked Remini for standing by him after he left the Church and praised her "enormous amount of integrity and compassion." She is reportedly planning to publish a memoir about her life and experiences with Scientology. In August 2013, it was disclosed that Remini had filed a missing-person report with the Los Angeles Police Department concerning the disappearance of Shelly Miscavige.
After the report was filed, the Los Angeles Police Department looked into the matter, met with Shelly Miscavige in person and closed the missing-person investigation and said Remini's report was 'unfounded.' The Church said in a statement that the whole affair was simply harassment and a publicity stunt for the actress.
In October 2013 it was reported that Remini has been subpoenaed to testify in a Comal County, Texas, lawsuit against the Church of Scientology and its leader David Miscavige regarding acts of alleged harassment and surveillance against former member Monique Rathbun (who was married to ex-Scientology executive Marty Rathbun). Rathbun's attorney, Ray Jeffery, says he wants Remini, a former Scientologist, to give a deposition in the hopes she could testify that Miscavige has vast influence over the operations of the church and had to have known about the alleged harassment.
|1997||Critics and Other Freaks||Actress at Audition|
|1998||Follow Your Heart||Angie|
|2003||Old School||Lara Campbell|
|1988||Head of the Class||1 episode|
|1989||Who's the Boss?||Charlie Briscoe||2 episodes|
|Living Dolls||Charlie Briscoe||12 episodes|
|1990||Normal Life||Carol||1 episode|
|The Hogan Family||Joanne||1 episode|
|The Man in the Family||Tina Bavasso||6 episodes|
|Saved by the Bell||Stacey Carosi||6 episodes|
|1991–1993||Cheers||Serafina Tortelli||2 episodes|
|Getting Up and Going Home||Stephanie O'Neil||Television film|
|1993||Evening Shade||Daisy||3 episodes|
|Harlan & Merleen||Frankie||Television film|
|1994||The Commish||Gail Ross||1 episode|
|1994–1995||Phantom 2040||Sagan Cruz (voice)||8 episodes|
|1995||Star Witness||Television movie|
|Diagnosis: Murder||Agnes Benedetto||1 episode|
|Friends||Lydia||1 episode, "The One with the Birth"|
|First Time Out||Dominique Costellano||12 episodes|
|1996||Biker Mice from Mars||Carbine (voice)||2 episodes|
|NYPD Blue||Angela Bohi||1 episode|
|1997–1998||Fired Up||Terry Reynolds||28 episodes|
|1998–2007||The King of Queens||Carrie Heffernan||207 episodes|
|2001||Hooves of Fire (American redub)||Vixen (voice)||Television film|
|2002||Legend of the Lost Tribe (American redub)||Koala (voice)||Television film|
|2005||Fat Actress||Herself||4 episodes|
|2007–2008||In the Motherhood||Kim||8 episodes|
|2009||Married Not Dead||Jessica||Television film|
|2009||Lopez Tonight||Carrie Heffernan||Cameo appearance|
|2010–2011||The Talk||Herself||Talk show host|
|2011||The Young and the Restless||Herself||1 episode|
|2013||The Family Tools||Terry Baumgardner||Lead character, 10 episodes|
|2013||Dancing With The Stars||Herself|
|2014 (upcoming)||The Exes||Nicki||7 episodes|
|2014 (upcoming)||TLC reality show starring Leah and her family||Herself||unknown|
|1993||Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers||Grace Nakimura||Voice|
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- "I Do, I Do, I Do!". People 60 (8). August 25, 2003.
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- Vargas, Sibila (December 20, 2005). "Showbiz Tonight". CNN. Retrieved June 8, 2006.
- Eggenberger, Nicole (September 10, 2013). "Leah Remini Tells Ellen DeGeneres She 'Lost Friends"'After Leaving Scientolog". US Weekly.
- "Exclusive: Actress Leah Remini quits Scientology after years of 'interrogations'". New York Post. July 11, 2013.
- Clark, Cindy (July 11, 2013). "Leah Remini quits Church of Scientology". USA Today.
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- Lindstrom, Colleen (July 17, 2013). "Scientology and the Remini Family: How it began". myTalk 107.1 FM.
- Traynor, Bradley (July 17, 2013). "EXCLUSIVE: Leah Remini's Sister Nicole Talks!". myTalk 107.1 FM.
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- Blankstein, Andrew (August 9, 2013). "Scientology leader's wife located by LAPD after Leah Remini inquiry". Los Angeles Times.
- Harris, Dan (August 9, 2013). "LAPD Dismisses Leah Remini's Missing Person Report on Wife of Scientology Leader". ABC News.
- Finn, Natalie (August 8, 2013). "Leah Remini Files Missing Person Report for Scientology Leader's Wife, Shelly Miscavige; Church Slams 'Harassment'". E!
|Awards and achievements|
Ingo Rademacher & Kym Johnson
|Dancing with the Stars (US) quarter-finalist
Season 17 (Fall 2013 with Tony Dovolani)