On vacation in Italy the actor famous for playing mobster Tony Soprano on HBO’s drama “The Sopranos,” James Gandolfini, died suddenly today at the age of 51.
HBO said in a statement. “We’re all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family. He 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.”
Born on September 18th, 1961 in Westwood, New Jersey as James J. Gandolfini Junior. He 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 (1993), but the role that brought him worldwide fame and accolades was as complex Mafia boss Tony Soprano in HBO’s smash hit series “The Sopranos” (1999).
Gandolfini won a total of three Emmys and one Golden Globe for his performance as mobster Tony Soprano. Gandolfini also appeared in several movies, including “True Romance,” “Get Shorty,” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”
James Gandolfini is survived by his wife, Deborah Lin, and an eight-month-old daughter, Liliana, as well as a son, Michael, from a previous marriage.