James Gandolfini, who rose to world stardom when he played mob boss Tony Soprano in “The Sopranos” has died while on vacation in Italy. Initial reports blamed a stroke, but later claimed it was due to a massive heart attack.
Gandolfini was 51 years old and is survived by a wife and two children. His father was born in Italy, his mother was born in America and then moved to Italy as a young child. Much of his family still lives there.
His role in”The Sopranos,” earned him three Emmys on six total nominations.
“Absolutely stunned,” Chris Albrecht, the former chairman and CEO of HBO who greenlit “The Sopranos” told Deadline. “I got the word from [‘Sopranos’ star] Lorraine Bracco and just got off with [producer] Brad Grey who had just heard from [show creator] David Chase. We had all become a family. This is a tremendous loss.”
Here is part of an interview he gave on ‘Inside The Actor’s Studio’