7. Edie Falco
You’ve no doubt noticed her great roles over the years, whether you know her best as Nurse Jackie or Carmela Soprano. But Edie Falco doesn’t just play strong women on television—she is also one in real life.
For example, while filming “The Sopranos,” the show that launched her career, the actress learned she had breast cancer. The Golden Globe and Emmy winner got back to work without missing a beat, and she confessed that surviving cancer made her realize something that changed the course of her life.
“To be honest, I never thought I’d have kids,” she said. “Then that awful diagnosis kicked in. Once I knew I wasn’t going to die, a light went on. I knew I wanted to be a mother.”