James Gandolfini of 'Sopranos' fame dies at 51
Iconic TV actor collapses of heart failure while on vacation in Italy
For many years, he was the man TV audiences loved to hate. As ruthless New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano on "The Sopranos," actor James Gandolfini forced viewers to see the man behind the monster. "The Sopranos" 10-year TV run ended abruptly, and now too, Gandolfini's life has ended just as abruptly, at the far too-young age of 51 from heart failure.
After "The Sopranos" ended, James Gandolfini worked in a producing capacity for HBO, earning Emmy nods for the documentary "Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq" and the telefilm "Hemingway and Gellhorn."
"It is with immense sorrow that we report our client James Gandolfini passed away today while on holiday in Rome, Italy," Armstrong and Sanders state. "Our hearts are shattered and we will miss him deeply. He and his family were part of our family for many years and we are all grieving."
Gandolfini was already a veteran character actor best known for roles in films like "Get Shorty," "Crimson Tide" and "True Romance." He only became a household name when "The Sopranos" premiered in 1999.
"He was a genius. Anyone who saw him even in the smallest of his performances knows that," Chase said in a statement. "He is one of the greatest actors of this or any time. A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes. I remember telling him many times, 'You don't get it. You're like Mozart,' There would be silence at the other end of the phone."
Tony Soprano became one of the iconic characters in television history and the actor was nominated for six acting Emmys, winning in 2000, 2001 and 2003.
Gandolfini was also nominated for four Golden Globes, winning one. He also won three individual Screen Actors Guild Awards as an individual and two more as part of the "Sopranos" ensemble.
"We're all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family," HBO said in a statement. "He was 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."
After "The Sopranos" ended, Gandolfini worked in a producing capacity for HBO, earning Emmy nods for the documentary "Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq" and the telefilm "Hemingway and Gellhorn."
Gandolfini is survived by wife Deborah Lin, daughter Liliana, born in October, and teenage son Michael.
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