By Will Ashton
In some very surprising and heartbreaking news, actor James Gandolfini has reportedly died of a heart attack in Italy today while on vacation. He was 51.
Best known for his three-time Emmy-winning performance as Tony Soprano on the HBO series The Sopranos, Gandolfini was a beloved character actor also seen in films such as True Romance, The Man Who Wasn’t There, Where the Wild Things Are, In the Loop and Get Shorty, just to name a few.
Most recently, the actor was seen in Killing Them Softly (where, I honestly believe, he stole the show), Zero Dark Thirty, Not Fade Away and, his latest, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. He had also recently filmed roles in Nicole Holofcener’s upcoming untitled project and in Animal Rescue, based on a Dennis Lehane book. He was currently in pre-production on a new limited series, Criminal Justice.
When I got the chance to see David Chase’s Not Fade Away earlier this month, I was blown away by Gandolfini’s reserved supporting performance. While the film itself wasn’t the greatest, I thought Gandolifini gave a brilliant performance and was easily the highlight of the film. I felt the very same way in the aforementioned Killing Them Softly. He was an extremely talented and nuanced actor, and his talents will be greatly missed.
His death was first reported by Deadline, and Variety confirmed the news.