Actor James Gandolfini Dead at 51
Terrible news – a shocker, a tragedy and a real wake-up call – this guy was 9 days younger than me. James Gandolfini was very effective on the small screen as well as the big with supporting roles in 8MM, TRUE ROMANCE, THE LAST CASTLE, and many more. I especially loved his villainous turn in the Coen’s THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE with Billy Bob Thornton. He was apparently in Rome for the Taormina Film Festival when he suffered a fatal heart attack. RIP Mr. Gandolfini
James Gandolfini, who brought a balance of intensity and vulnerability to his portrayal of conflicted mob boss Tony Soprano that made him among the most respected actors of his generation, died Wednesday in Rome. He was 51 and was believed to have suffered a heart attack. According to the Taormina Film Festival, he was on his way to the film festival where he was expected Thursday. He had been expected to participate in an onstage conversation with Italian director Gabriele Muccino on Saturday at the Sicilian festival. Gandolfini’s commanding screen presence was the driving force in establishing “The Sopranos” as the most influential TV show of the past generation. The actor was praised for his deft juggling of the character’s violence and sensitivity, making the murderous crime lord a sympathetic figure that set the mold for the flawed anti-heroes that populate cable dramas today. Underscoring the show’s continuing influence, “Sopranos” was voted the best-written series of all time in a recent Writers Guild of America survey…….
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“We’re all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family. James Gandolfini was a 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.”