N-n-noooooh!! ‘Tony Soprano’ Sleeps With the Fishes

Filed in Arts and Entertainment by on June 19, 2013

James Gandolfini reportedly dead of a heart attack suffered while he was in Italy.

Actor James Gandolfini died suddenly after a suspected heart attack while on holiday in Rome to attend the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily. He was 51. Gandolfini will be forever known for his portrayal of mob boss Tony Soprano on the seminal HBO series The Sopranos, which eventually won him 3 Emmy Awards and a $1,000,000-an-episode paycheck. 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. Yet he proved through his masterful acting that he could make Tony Soprano sexy and smart, towering and powerful.

More from CNN:

The body of actor James Gandolfini was transferred to a hospital morgue in Rome early Thursday, where it awaits an autopsy. By law, medical examiners in Italy are required to carry out the postmortem 24 hours after the body’s arrival in the morgue, a hospital spokesman said. Before Italian authorities can release his remains for transport back to the United States, the U.S. Embassy in Rome must issue a death certificate.

Gandolfini was not alive when he arrived by ambulance at the Policlinico hospital late Wednesday, spokesman Antonio Spasola said. No one from the embassy or Gandolfini’s family has contacted the morgue yet, he said. Though the cause of death is not yet known, his managers believe that a heart attack killed the man who portrayed Tony Soprano, a washed-up mob boss prone to keeling over from panic attacks.

He was 51.

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  1. cassandra_m says:

    How horrible is it that I keep hoping this will be a hoax of some kind? RIP, Mr. Gandolfini.

  2. Joanne Christian says:

    I never even saw the Sopranos, until a lengthy recovery introduced the remote to me last year. Couldn’t get enough–mid morning was the highlight of my day on some such rerun channel, that I timed medicine and routines around them. Big sister and cousins found out, and introduced the next tier—NetFlix and On Demand.

    Carmella helped bring my appetite back. Chicken parm and ricotta pie. Aw geez, I get hungry now, thinking of her saying it somewhere. Saw every episode of every season between September and November–twice. Thanks Mr. Gandolfini for the distraction, and riveting performances in your signature role—and your role in my recovery. Carmella may have never brought over some escarole, but you sure delivered some entertainment. Rest in peace, and may your family be carried by memories, and the extra love adoring fans have for you.

  3. Delaware Dem says:

    Thanks Joanne. Now I am hungry for lunch! LOL.

    I was truly shocked when I heard the news last night. 51 is way too young. It is a wake up call. Time to get in shape.

  4. cassandra_m says:

    Joanne, I first saw The Sopranos while trying to get over a bad case of the flu. A friend had given me the DVDs for the first three seasons for my birthday, and I thought I could pop them in the player and doze on and off while watching. From the very first one, I was completely riveted and when I had watched them all, I went back and watched them with the commentary on. I was sick enough where the food didn’t mean much to me then, but it was brilliantly done.

    And TPM has posted up Gandolfini’s appearance on The Actor’s Studio.

  5. reis says:

    Prior to The Sopranos, my only experience with Gandolfini was The Last Castle with Robert Redford. After seeing Gandolfini again in The Sopranos, I couldn’t believe this guy’s acting range. He played a sneaky, cowardly bureaucrat in The Last Castle, and was good. Tony was a complete turn-around, and was also great.

    He shall be missed.