James Gandolfini Dead at 51

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 24th, 2014 at 11:14 am,

james gandolfini rip James Gandolfini Dead at 51

James Gandolfini, who will forever be remembered as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos, has died at the age of 51. According to HBO, the cause of death is believed to be a heart attack. The actor was apparently on vacation in Italy at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife Deborah Lin and their 8-month-old daughter.

The New Jersey-born actor first garnered attention for enforcer/tough guy roles in True RomanceGet Shorty, and other films in the late 1990s before finally breaking out in 1999, using his imposing physicality and a grounded, tough, and layered style to fully inhabit Tony Soprano, a role that won him 3 Emmy awards.

After The Sopranos came to a close in 2007, Gandolfini seemingly took an active role in cultivating a diverse and rich resume, mixing independently minded films like In the Loop, Welcome to the Rileys, and Not Fade Away (which served as Sopranos‘ creator David Chase’s feature directorial debut) with authoritative roles in larger films like The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 and Zero Dark Thirty. He also appeared on Broadway with the 2009 Tony nominated performance in God of Carnage.

A committed supporter of The Wounded Warrior Project, Gandolfini also made two documentaries – 2007’s Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq and 2010’s Wartorn: 1861-2010 – that focused on wounded soldiers and posttraumatic stress disorder for HBO.

james gandolfini rip sopranos James Gandolfini Dead at 51

Gandolfini’s relationship with HBO, which included Hemingway and Gellhorn (which the actor produced) and Cinema Verite (which he starred in), was set to continue with Criminal Justice, a 7-episode event series adaptation of Peter Moffat’s UK original. In the series, Gandolfini was set to star as Jack Stone, an attorney. Gandolfini was also developing Big Dead Place and Eating With the Enemy: How I Waged Peace With North Korea From My BBQ Shack in Hackensack with HBO, and he was set to produce the Taxi-22 adaptation over at CBS.

Obviously – and secondarily – those projects may all be in doubt due to this loss, but with a great many of us intellectually doubled over, it goes without saying that everything comes into perspective at a moment like this, where a 51-year-old man is gone, a daughter is without her father, a wife is without her husband, and an audience is without a magnetized presence that seized every opportunity to make us remember him.

As I said, James Gandolfini will forever be remembered as Tony Soprano. Not for playing a mobster, but for being that man, for transforming into him, and for – as the adage goes – “turning a television into a window,” a window through which we could watch him seduce, frighten, and amaze us.

An icon, with an ocean of accomplishment and an undeniable legacy as one of our best actors; our thoughts and prayers go out to James Gandolfini’s loved ones.


In Memoriam: James Gandolfini, September 18, 1961 – June 19, 2013

Source: THR

Follow Jason Tabrys on Twitter @jtabrys
TAGS: Obituaries
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  1. Such a sad sad day. Rest in peace. such talent. thoughts to his wife & baby girl

  2. RIP. The Sopranos is the greatest tv series of all time.

  3. Very nice tribute, Jason.

    RIP. So sad.

  4. Wow. An entire article about the death of an actor, and not only do the authors avoid talking about what he died of, not on poster thinks to ask either. Is this a topic everyone is trying to avoid, or did he actually die of something normal? He was 51 for crying out loud, so that is kind of young to die, and not have anyone ask a question how it happened. Usually, that’s the first question out of people’s mouths.

    • First paragraph:

      “According to HBO, the cause of death is believed to be a heart attack.”

      First read, then comprehend, then comment. Not the other way around. 😉

    • This article was written mere hours after his death. In a foreign country. Before an autopsy. And the apparent cause of death is actually in the article.
      Not to mention, this article is a tribute to his legacy, not a f*cking TMZ report. How about trying to show a little compassion, huh? Unbelievable.

    • You are a tool.

    • In your complaint, any sympathy
      or compassion for James is absent.
      All that you care about is how he died.

  5. Such sad news.

    Sleep easy T xx

  6. Mr. Gandolfini,
    your presence on TV and film will sincerely be missed. Great character actor and a great addition to the crime genre. Rest in peace.

  7. Very sad news still some 24 hours after hearing it. A great Actor and someone I think most who watched him felt they knew. Good Article however i believe he leaves behind two children. He had a teenage son.

  8. It’s probably a cocaine overdose. It’s billy maze all over again

    • If you spell cocaine like junk food yes it definitely is

  9. R.I.P. Gandolfini …will never forget you as Tony Soprano

  10. Autopsy confirmed it was a heart attack.

    I’ve never actually seen The Sopranos (didn’t look that impressive) but it’s a sad time for his friends, family and colleagues. RIP James.

    I guess the only good thing is that he may not have suffered too much pain. That’s always a