Bada bing! ‘Sopranos’ star grew up in Whitestone 1

The childhood home of Drea de Matteo at 144-11 South Drive in Whitestone’s Malba section, largely in original condition, c. 1990s.

Albert de Matteo was born poor in the Bronx in 1932, one of seven children. After graduating from NYU he opened up a furniture store on Steinway Street in Astoria. He married Donna Bendinetti in 1960. They moved into an apartment building at 31-90 140 St. in Flushing and had two sons, Darren and Joseph. He made a serious career move when he went to work for Bernie Castro of Castro Convertibles fame. He opened Carlyle Custom Convertibles in 1966 and Avery Boardman Sleep Sofas in 1970. His new wealth enabled the family to buy a sprawling one-story home at 144-11 South Drive in the Malba section of Whitestone.

A baby girl, Andrea Donna, was born Jan. 19, 1972. Andrea went to the Whitestone Academy, a co-ed private school. Her mother, who taught the craft of playwriting, inspired her to get into acting. In 1993, she moved to 123 Second Ave. in Manhattan. In 1999, she became a star for her role on “The Sopranos.”

Sadly, her building burned down after a gas explosion in 2015. Along with her home of 22 years, she lost all her childhood effects. Her Malba home remains much as it was.

De Matteo, who won two Primetime Emmy awards, resisted being typecast for her role in “The Sopranos” and later appeared in “Desperate Housewives,” “Joey” and “Sons of Anarchy.”

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