Sopranos’ star James Gandolfini, 51, died suddenly on Wednesday while holidaying in Rome. It is suspected that he died as a result of a massive heart attack
The words acting great and legend get thrown around a lot today, so much so that it has lost it’s meaning. However, James Gandolfini is someone who deserves those terms.
He appeared in over 50 diverse TV and movie roles, however he will forever be remembered for one of the most iconic TV characters ever – that of mob boss Tony Soprano. The Sopranos ran on HBO from 1997 – 2007, during this time Gandolfini won 3 Emmys. Below is the final ever Soprano scene
HBO released a statement saying “We’re all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family. He a was special man, a great talent, but more importantly a gentle and loving person who treated everyone no matter their title or position with equal respect. He touched so many of us over the years with his humor, his warmth and his humility. Our hearts go out to his wife and children during this terrible time. He will be deeply missed by all of us.”
Gandolfini’s first acting credit on imdb.com is in 1987’s Shock! Shock! Shock! playing an orderly. However, his first big break was on Broadway, in 1992, in A Streetcar Named Desire, co-starring alongside Jessica Lange and Alec Baldwin.
The rest of the world started asking, “who is he?”, after seeing him as Virgil in True Romance (1993).
Even though he is most remembered for his tough men roles, he played a variety of roles, starring in films like The Mexican opposite Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts, The Taking of Pelham 123, Where The Wild Things Are and more recently Zero Dark Thirty, and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.
He recently completed work on Animal Rescue. with Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace. According to imdb.com, it’s ‘a crime drama centered around a lost pit bull, a wannabe scam artist, and a killing.”
He was also set to star in a 7 part HBO series Criminal Justice, based on a BBC show (filming on the pilot episode is complete).
One of my favourite roles was seeing Gandolfini play Carol in Spike Jonze’s Where The Wild Things Are. Check out this deleted scene
James Gandolfini was always about the acting. It was very rare to see him in the tabloids exposing his life to one and all. In a past interview he said “I’m an actor… I do a job and I go home. Why are you interested in me? You don’t ask a truck driver about his job.” (imdb.com)
I never had the pleasure of interviewing Gandolfini but those who knew him said he was nothing like Tony Soprano. He even described himself as a “260pound Woody Allen” (Imdb.com)
In a statement, David Chase, The Sopranos showrunner, said about Gandolfini, “He was a genius. Anyone who saw him even in the smallest of his performances knows that. He is one of the greatest actors of this or any time. A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes. I remember telling him many times, ‘You don’t get it. You’re like Mozart.’ There would be silence at the other end of the phone. For Deborah and Michael and Liliana this is crushing. And it’s bad for the rest of the world. He wasn’t easy sometimes. But he was my partner; he was my brother in ways I can’t explain and never will be able to explain.”
Gandolfini is survived by his wife, Deborah, and their 9-month-old daughter, Liliana, and son, Michael, from another marriage.
Thank you for your legacy James Gandolfini.
Gone way too soon.
Rest In Peace.