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by Alison Willmore
June 19, 2013 7:58 PM
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James Gandolfini, Star of 'The Sopranos,' Has Passed Away at Age 51

Edie Falco and James Gandolfini in 'The Sopranos' Craig Blankenhorn/HBO
James Gandolfini, best known for his role as New Jersey mobster Tony Soprano in HBO drama "The Sopranos," has passed away at age 51. Deadline broke the news that the actor died of a suspected heart attack, with the New York Times' Dave Itzkoff confirming via HBO that it happened as he was in Rome. Gandolfini was slated to appear in conversation with director Gabriele Muccino at the Taormina Film Festival this week.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Gandolfini's defining role was as Tony Soprano, the antihero of David Chase's series and one of the iconic characters of our current golden age of television -- a mob boss whose attempts to balance conflicts at home and within his criminal organization led him to seek therapy. Gandolfini won three Emmys for his work on the series, which ran from 1999-2007.

In addition to his turn as Tony Soprano, Gandolfini's film work included memorable roles in "True Romance," "Get Shorty," "The Man Who Wasn't There," "Romance & Cigarettes," "In the Loop," "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Not Fade Away," Chase's feature directorial debut.

HBO released the statement below:

We're all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family. 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.

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  • jean vigo | June 20, 2013 12:49 AMReply

    Anyway...back on topic. As much as I enjoyed James Gandolfini on "The Sopranos," I certainly hope moviegoers will get a chance to appreciate his work in many of his films, like the ones named above, esp. "The Man Who Wasn't There" and "In The Loop" and a spot on evocation of Leon Panetta in "Zero Dark Thirty." Saw him in "God Of Carnage" on Broadway. Truly a loss of a great talent.

  • Greg | June 19, 2013 8:23 PMReply

    Why don't you put some REAL news here on Indiewire and stop suppressing the truth about festivals and Sundance, and tell us FILMMAKERS who have spent our hard earned dollars and time wanting to become Independent Filmmakers, let us know how we are all being dupped, and how Sundance Awards its own films made at Sundance Institution for years now, 6 programmers and 12,000 films, a law suit filed because Sundance doesn't watch any of the films and the courts ruled in its favour, they don't have to prove that they watch even 30 seconds!!!!! There are many more lawsuits coningthis year and yet you people bury the evidence because they spend money on your site for advertising.
    What kind of scruples do you have anyways? Answer NONE! I hope everyone finds out about you Filmmaker Magazine and all you rip offs that are to corrupt to tell people the truth. A law suit ensued years ago, yet you make no mention of it?
    Shame on you all. Greg

  • Mitch | June 19, 2013 11:04 PM

    If this post is any indication, your filmmaking career will be a long, prosperous, coherent, and typo-free!

    Also, a talented human being died. Show some respect.

  • Mr. Devils Advocate | June 19, 2013 8:53 PM

    Why wouldn't Sndnce promo their own & award their 'family" of production? If u started abig biz- U too, would be partial in favoring your circles w/gratitude & accolades.
    Plus INDIEWIRE, is not, last time I viewed...an alternate to USAToday , or some CNN-esque pulp-site....It's a frikin ENTERTAINMENT source, a beefed up version o NATIONAL ENQUIRER! They dont claim to be an authority (on any level) of current political events, legislations, lawsuits or human rights movements...which sounds to me like what you're
    gripe is with.
    You may be barking up wrong tree. Don't be surprized if rant falls upon deaf ears.
    And finally- as an ARTIST, MUSICIAN, PRODUCER who has also dabbled in film: acting, directing, production...It's a given that the whole industry is a SHAM....who's who of ass kissing, payola, scratch my back I'll scratch yours, & basically WHO THE HELL YOU KNOW....Our skill/talent/hard work & dedication have virtually zero to do with amount of success or recognition we may or may NEVER experience. This is the way of the world....INDEPENDENT ARTIST know exactly what we buy into, always have& will. Can't change the machine simply by kicking up dust....ALTHOYGH-stirring up the noise never hurts to keep the message ALIVE.

  • Sally | June 19, 2013 8:30 PM

    Great choice of articles, bro.