Actor James Gandolfini has passed away at the too-young age of 51.
Gandolfini was most famous for his Emmy-winning role as Tony Soprano on THE SOPRANOS, but he also built up an impressive resume of film work before, during and after the HBO series’ run.
Gandolfini was working as a bartender in New York City when he accompanied a friend to an acting class. After this late start, people immediately took notice of his talent. He co-starred in a legendary Broadway revival of STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE with Alec Baldwin and Jessica Lange.
Though his on-screen career lasted just over two decades, Gandolfini leaves behind a legacy of achievement. His film credits include TRUE ROMANCE, TERMINAL VELOCITY, NIGHT FALLS ON MANHATTAN, 12 ANGRY MEN, SHE’S SO LOVELY, A CIVIL ACTION, THE MEXICAN, THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE, THE LAST CASTLE, SURVIVING CHRISTMAS, ALL THE KING’S MEN, THE TAKING OF PELHAM 1 2 3, IN THE LOOP and WELCOME TO THE RILEYS. Within just the last year, Gandolfini appeared in DOWN THE SHORE, CINEMA VERITE, KILLING THEM SOFTLY, NOT FADE AWAY (from his SOPRANOS creator David Chase), ZERO DARK THIRTY and THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE.
James Gandolfini was taking a vacation in Italy where he planned to attend a film festival later in the week. He reportedly suffered a massive, fatal heart attack. He leaves behind a wife, nine month old daughter and a son from another marriage.
“Jimmy was the spiritual core of our SOPRANOS family,” former HBO president Chris Albrecht said, “He was a great talent, but an even better man.”