Last evening brought the startling news that James Gandolfini had passed from a sudden heart attack. It happened while on vacation in Rome with his teenage son, who found him. The legacy of Gandolfini is safe thanks to his role as Tony Soprano in HBO’s ground-breaking series “The Sopranos“, but we movie fans know him for so much more. He was a fabulous movie actor both in lead roles (Welcome to the Riley’s) and supporting ones (The Coen Brothers’ The Man Who Knew Too Much, In The Loop, and Killing Me Softly). He was beloved and respected by those within the industry, and he once laughed off the idea that he might be like Tony Soprano. His response … a proclaimation that he is more like “a 260 pound Woody Allen“.
The controversial final episode of “The Sopranos” was filmed at a New Jersey Ice Cream parlor called Holsteins. Fans gathered last night, and in a touching tribute, the booth where Tony and his family sat in that final scene was marked with a “reserved” sign.
Here is a 2 minute video showing some of Mr. Gandolfini’s work: