Yesterday the world was shocked when the death of one of this generation’s finest actors was announced. James Gandolfini, best known for his iconic role as troubled Mob boss , Tony Soprano in HBO’s “The Sopranos” died in Rome of a suspected heart attack. Gandolfini and his family were at a film festival where he was to be honored.
James J Gandolfini Jr was born in Westwood New Jersey on September 18, 1961. He graduated from Park Ridge High School and attended Rutgers University. He made his mark on the NY stage in many roles. Most noted was his Broadway debut in the revival of “A Streetcar Named Desire” with Jessica Lange and Alec Baldwin. He was also nominated for a Tony award for “God of Carnage” in 2009. Gandolfini also appeared in many movie roles demonstrating his drama and comedic skills. Some of these included “Get Shorty”, “The Taking of Pelham 123” “The Mexican”, “Surviving Christmas” and most recently “Not Fade Away.”
But the role that he will go into history for is the confused Mob Boss, Tony Soprano. Everyone of his “family” members went on about their love for this gentle giant. Nothing like the murderous , adulterer, Gandolfini was generous and kind and considered his cast mates his family. HBO launched the show in 1999 where it dominated award shows and pop culture for six seasons . The show ended with Tony and his family sitting in a diner, the juke box playing “Don’t Stop Believin” and then the screen fading to black. This was lauded as one of the most original series endings of all time along with the famous “prison scene” in “Seinfeld” .
Gandolfini is survived by his second wife, Deborah Lin and two children. Michael is from his first marriage to Marcy Wudarksi and his second child is Liliana from the present one. He will be missed by his two families, his real one and the one he had on tv and his millions of fans.
“I don’t know whether I was in love with Edie or Carmela ” said James here with his leading lady, Edie Falco. He was a multi award winner for his role as Tony. Here he won one of his three primetime Emmys.
Chitownstarconnections would like to extend condolences to the family and friends of James. He will be remembered fondly