Sad news today, June 19 as popular character actor James Gandolfini passes away at age 51.
In reports from NY Daily News and TMZ.com, Gandolfini suffered a massive fatal heart attack at his home in Italy.
James Gandolfini is best known to television audiences as patriarch Tony Soprano on the HBO series, ‘The Sopranos.’
His character work in films, including a breakout role as ‘Virgil’ in director Tony Scott’s 1993 film ‘True Romance’ spanned over twenty years and encompassed multiple genres.
From an uncredited role as a henchman in ‘The Last Boy Scout’ in 1991 to his role as a CIA agent in ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ in 2012, Gandolfini specialized in portraying characters whose motives were murky yet his skill as an actor drew audiences in due his onscreen presence and charisma.
Nowhere was this skill more on display than in his “signature” role as Mafia boss and family man Tony Soprano on the long-running HBO series, ‘The Sopranos.’ Millions of viewers tuned in each week to witness the engrossing story of a “made man” who, as a result of stress from his duplicitous lifestyle, sought out comfort and personal resolutions via sessions with a psychiatrist.
James Gandolfini first gained attention in 1992, when he starred in a Broadway production of ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ with co-stars Alec Baldwin and Jessica Lange.
The New Jersey-raised actor was long known for his publicity-shy persona but will remain beloved by fans for his legacy of work in both television and films, which includes three Emmy Awards for his work on ‘The Sopranos.’
James Gandolfini is survived by his wife since 2008, Deborah Lin and their eight month old baby girl as well as by his former wife Marcy Wudarski and their son which they shared from that marriage.