Actor James Gandolfini, better known for his role as Tony Soprano, suffered a massive heart attack and is dead at age 51. Gandolfini was in Italy to attend the 59th Taormina Film Festival in Sicily. How very sad, Gandolfini was one of my favorite actors. Maybe because for many years I lived in New Jersey and pretty much knew every location where they shot scenes of The Soprano’s. Like the Bada Bing, that was really Satin Dolls in Lodi, NJ. Then there was Beansie’s pizzeria in Paterson, Bates College was Drew University in Madison and last but not least, Tony’s home in North Caldwell, NJ. How I miss the show and will miss James Gandolfini. He rose to stardom in 1999 when he was cast as Tony Soprano and won 3 Emmy awards as the troubled and flawed crime boss during the show’s six season run.
As stated at IMDb, New Jersey-born James Gandolfini began acting in the New York theater. His Broadway debut was in the 1992 revival of “A Streetcar Named Desire” with Jessica Lange and Alec Baldwin. James’ breakthrough role was his portrayal of Virgil the hitman in Tony Scott’s True Romance. James Gandolfini also stared in some of my favorite movies, Crimson Tide, A Civil Action, The Mexican, The Last Castle, but will always be known for his role as Tony Soprano.
More at Deadline Hollywood.
James Gandolfini, (September 18, 1961 – June 19, 2013) … Rest in Peace
James Gandolfini, the New Jersey-bred actor who delighted audiences as mob boss Tony Soprano in “The Sopranos” has died following a massive heart attack in Italy, a source told the Daily News.
“Everyone is in tears,” the source close to the 51-year-old TV tough guy said.
A press-shy celeb who got his start as a character actor and became famous relatively late in his career — thanks to his breakout role on “The Sopranos,” Gandolfini has largely avoided the spotlight since the last season of the beloved show aired in 2007.
Wiki: Gandolfini was born in Westwood, New Jersey. His mother, Santa, a high school lunch lady, was born in the USA, of Italian ancestry, and raised in Naples, Italy. His father, James Joseph Gandolfini, Sr., a native of Borgotaro, Italy, was a bricklayer, cement mason, and later the head custodian at Paramus Catholic High School, New Jersey. James, Sr., also earned a Purple Heart in World War II. His parents were devout Roman Catholics and spoke Italian at home. Due to such influence, Gandolfini had a strong sense of being Italian, and regularly visited Italy.
Mr. Gandolfini’s death was confirmed by HBO. He was traveling in Rome, where he was on vacation and was scheduled to attend the Taormina Film Festival. A cause of death was not immediately announced; a press representative for HBO said that Mr. Gandolfini may have died from a heart attack, though other news reports said he died from a stroke.
Mr. Gandolfini, who grew up in Park Ridge, in Bergen County, N.J., came to embody the resilience of the Garden State on “The Sopranos,” a television drama that made its debut in 1999 and ran for six seasons on HBO.
In its pilot episode, viewers were introduced to the richly complicated life of Tony Soprano, a New Jersey mob kingpin who is suffering from panic attacks and begins seeing a therapist. Over 86 episodes, audiences followed Mr. Gandolfini in the role as he was tormented by his mother (played by Nancy Marchand), his wife (Edie Falco), rival mobsters, the occasional surreal dream sequence and, in 2007, a famously ambiguous series finale which left millions of viewers wondering whether or not Tony Soprano had met his fate at the table of a diner.
Sadly, it appears that there will be no Soprano’s movie now. I was kind of hoping that the cast would get back together as the show ended far too soon. We are only left with the final scene of The Soprano’s.
Final Scene of HBO’s The Soprano’s