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By Patrick Van Roy On June 20th, 2013

James Gandolfini died suddenly after a suspected heart attack while on holiday in Rome. He was 51. A year younger than me.  Sopranos was a good show.

Overweight, balding, rough around the edges with a thick New Jersey accent, Gandolfini was the opposite of a marquee leading man, destined to be a character actor, and yet he proved through his masterful acting that he could make Tony Soprano sexy and smart. Gandolfini’s breakthrough screen role came with his portrayal of Virgil, the philosophizing hit man, in Tony Scott’s True Romance. (a great movie)



10 Responses to “R.I.P.”

  1. I am genuinely sad. By all accounts he was a good guy. He lived in my city, and loved roaming around it.

    The one thing that would make him cranky was if a stranger came up to him and greeted him as ” Tony “. He’d always say ” that’s a character I play, it’s not me ”

    But he did so well as Tony Soprano, he became him in the eyes of the public.

    They interrupted the radio broadcast a while back to break this news. It’s a death in the family.

    Good bye, James. You left us way too soon.

  2. by all accounts he was a nice guy who treated everyone with respect.

  3. Even in the age of DVRs and HBO On Demand I always made a point of watching The Sopranos as it was broadcasts, I loved the show.
    I also saw him on Broadway in God of Carnage which was fantastic.

  4. From a Bay Ridge website:

    Those of us who lived in Bay Ridge, especially up in Dyker Heights, we understood this life. No one did mob boss better than this man. RIP, dude.

    Like Tony Sirico, ( Paulie Walnuts ), he never put on airs, and always went back to the old neighborhood.

    God damn it. Not fair.

  5. I liked how Tony Soprano didn’t glamourise the mafia in the way that say The Godfather did. 51 is far too early for someone to die.

    The Sopranos really kicked off the mini golden age of high quality television dramas that we currently have.

  6. Astoundingly good TV show and by all accounts James Galdonfini was a pleasure to meet.

    A sad loss to entertainment.

  7. A great actor has died.


  8. I am just astonished at the huge number of comments from ordinary people on the NY Times, and other sites, people who had chance encounters with him, who all say the same thing. He treated them with the friendship and respect. Before he was famous, and just the same, after.

    If they have a public funeral for him – I do not expect them to – it would rival that of a head of state. He really touched people.

  9. Out of interest, why is there a quote from Goodfellas under Gandolfini’s picture?

  10. because whoever made the picture liked the quote better if it came from him instead probably…

    I just liked the picture.