Laura San Giacomo’s Life

Celebrity Q&A, People
on August 27, 2012

Is Laura San Giacomo married, and does she have any children?
—Don Olivo, Honolulu, Hawaii

The West Orange, N.J.-born actress, 49, has been married twice and has a son Mason, 16, from her first marriage to actor Cameron Dye. Mason has cerebral palsy, which steered San Giacomo into activism for disability-related projects.

One of her endeavors is the CHIME Charter School, a public charter school founded in 2001, where the focus is on inclusion, so that kids who happen to have disabilities, typical kids and gifted kids learn side-by-side in the classroom.

“It’s been a very successful elementary school and middle school,” says the actress, who most recently starred in the Lifetime movie “talhotblond.” “We started with 70 kids, now it’s over 700.” One of the biggest successes, she says, is that the kids learn that everyone is different, everyone is the same and everyone is to be valued.

“Within the first 100 days of school there was an NPR radio show that came to our school to do a piece on inclusion, and the journalist was setting up situations where she was trying to get the kids to describe each other by disability, and they really didn’t. She would say, ‘Whose backpack is that?,’ knowing it was someone who was in a wheelchair—and the kids would say, ‘That’s Johnny’s. It’s his Justice League backpack. He’s over there in the red shorts.’ So they would describe him as they would any other child, not by disability but by color of hair or shorts. It was a beautiful lesson for all of us to learn that right from the get-go disability can be completely normal.”

San Giacomo is married to actor Matt Adler.