Now we know the real reason behind that short-cropped, non-Carmela-like hairdo that Edie Falco's been sporting lately: Up until a few months ago, she'd been battling breast cancer. With the battle apparently won, the 41-year-old ''Sopranos'' star is finally singing out about her ailment. Her publicist told the Associated Press that Falco had worked on the show during her treatment but would not specify whether that treatment included chemotherapy or surgery. The spokesperson did give a statement to the New York Post, saying: ''Edie was diagnosed, treated and she's fine. More than five months have gone by since her last treatment and she's very healthy.''
The next and final season of ''The Sopranos'' isn't expected to premiere until 2006, with production beginning sometime next year. Before that, Falco will confront death on stage as the suicidal daughter in a Broadway revival of Marsha Norman's play '''night, Mother.'' Brenda Blethyn (''Secrets & Lies'') will play her mother in the drama, which opens in November. Falco may also grace the stage at September's Emmy ceremony, since she's won three Emmys for the role of Carmela and may take home a fourth next month.