Wednesday, June 19: Emmy-winning actor James Gandolfini dies at age 51.
Actor James Gandolfini died at age 51 today. Gandolfini, known for his role as Tony Soprano in HBO’s The Sopranos, was in Italy — with intentions to attend the 59th Annual Taormina Film Festival in Sicily — when he reportedly suffered a massive heart attack and died. He is survived by his wife Deborah Lin, teenage son and baby daughter.
For six seasons, Gandolfini played New Jersey mafia boss Tony Soprano, winning three Emmy Awards for best actor in a drama series. When we interviewed Gandolfini for the series finale in 2007, he shared the following on his career-defining character.
If you could write the final episode… I would give closure to Tony by having him whacked and fed to the ducks.
Fondest memory on the set… From the first episode, Michael Imperioli trying to drive while we were shooting the sidewalk car chase scene. He ended up getting into two different fender benders on the that same day. [Imperioli did not know how to drive at the time, a common thing for many New Yorkers.]
Favorite episode… The ones with Nancy Marchand [Livia] in them.
Now that The Sopranos is officially over, I will never… Put on another bathrobe.
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.”
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