News broke in the early hours of the morning that actor James Gandolfini, popularly known for his role as a mob boss in HBO’s ‘The Sorpranos’, died on Wednesday while on vacation in Italy. Gandolfini was expected to attend the 59th Taormina Film Festival in Sicily and was scheduled to participate in a festival event this weekend with Italian director Gabriele Muccino. Cause of death is yet to be determined but managers say it was possibly due to a heart attack.
His body is in a hospital morgue in Rome, once the US embassy issues a death certificate, his remains will be returned to the United States. He was 51.
Gandolfini, a new jersey native, shot to fame playing a hitman in the 1993 hit ‘True Romance’ but won the hearts of many for his portrayal as Tony Sorprano in the popular TV series ‘The Sorpranos’ which aired from 1999 to 2007. His performance garnered him three Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actor’s Guild Award.
A quote from HBO reads “We’re shocked and feel 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.”
His managers Mark Armstrong and Nancy Sanders says, “it is with immense sorrow that we report our client James Gandolfini passed away today while on holiday in Rome, Italy. 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.”
His film credits include ‘Zero dark thirty’ and ‘Killing them softly’, he also appeared in the Broadway Production ‘God of Carnage’ in 2009 with Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis and Maria Gay Harden, earning a Tony nomination for best actor.
He survived by his wife, Deborah Lin, their baby daughter and his son Michael, with his ex-wife, Marcy Wudarski.
R.I.P Mr Gandolfini, your memory will remain in our hearts through the body of work you left behind.