James Joseph Gandolfini Jr. (September 18, 1961 – June 19, 2013) was an American movie and television actor. He was best known for playing Tony Soprano in the HBO television series, The Sopranos. He won three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award for his performance in the role.
Gandolfini in 2011
James Joseph Gandolfini Jr.
September 18, 1961
|Died||June 19, 2013 (aged 51)|
(m. 1999; div. 2002)
Deborah Lin (m. 2008)
|Children||2; including Michael Gandolfini|
He grew up in Park Ridge, New Jersey. Gandolfini graduated from Park Ridge High School in 1979. He played basketball and acted in school plays. He won the title "Class Flirt" in his senior yearbook. Gandolfini earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication studies from Rutgers University. While at Rutgers University, Gandolfini worked as a bouncer at local school pub. He also worked as a bartender and club manager not including his acting career. He first got his acting job as a young man living in New York City.
Gandolfini became famous for his role as Tony Soprano, a New Jersey Mafia boss and family man who was the lead character in the HBO drama The Sopranos. The series started in 1999 and ran until 2007. He won three Emmy Awards for "Best Actor in a Drama" for his role as Soprano. Entertainment Weekly listed him as the 42nd Greatest TV Icon of All Time.
Gandolfini earned fame for this role, winning both the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series three times. With a career span of 20 years, Gandolfini's other roles include Virgil in True Romance, Bobby Dougherty in Crimson Tide, Bear in Get Shorty, and Carol in Where the Wild Things Are. In 2012, Gandolfini appeared in two major movies, Killing Them Softly and in Zero Dark Thirty. He starred in the main role in the 2013 movie Enough Said. It was released three months after his death. Gandolfini's last movie was the 2014 movie The Drop.
Gandolfini was married to Marcy Wudarski from 1999 until they divorced in 2002. He was then married to Deborah Lin from 2008 until his death in 2013. With Wudarski he had a son named Michael (born 1999). He had one daughter with Lin, named Liliana Ruth (born 2012).
A fan of motorcycles, Gandolfini owned a Harley-Davidson and a Vespa scooter. On May 4, 2006, he was riding the Vespa in New York City traffic when it was hit by a taxi cab. Gandolfini had knee surgery because of the accident. The incident caused the production for The Sopranos to stop shooting for three months. The accident happened when Gandolfini was filming of the final Sopranos episodes.
On October 31, 2009, Gandolfini was in New York City when a photographer wanted to take a picture of him. Gandolfini lost his temper and punched the photographer. A year before the incident, Gandolfini punched a paparazzi at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.
On June 19, 2013, Gandolfini died suddenly while vacationing in Rome. Ambulance staff arrived around 10:40 pm and tried to save Gandolfini's life. It was said that Gandolfini was still alive at the hotel but died on the way to the hospital. Early reports thought the cause of death was either a heart attack or stroke. Later on June 20, 2013, hospital official said that Gandolfini died from cardiac arrest. It wasn't until on June 21 an autopsy was performed on Gandolfini. It was confirmed that he had died of a heart attack. The Sopranos creator David Chase called Gandolfini "a genius" and "his partner and brother". New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said he was "a New Jersey treasure".
Gandolfini's body was returned to the United States on June 23. Broadway dimmed theater marquee lights on the night of Wednesday, June 26 in Gandolfini's honor. His funeral was held at Saint John the Divine cathedral in Manhattan, New York on June 27. His remains were later cremated and given to his family.
Word of his death spread quickly with many of Gandolfini's friends. Former co-stars, many fans throughout the entertainment business along with politicians such as John McCain and Chris Christie taking to the internet to respond to his sudden death. Christie ordered all State buildings to fly flags at half-staff on June 24, to honor Gandolfini.
The day following his death, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, which features Gandolfini's Sopranos co-star Steven Van Zandt on guitar, gave a full album performance of their 1975 classic Born to Run. His performance was dedicated it to Gandolfini.
- James Gandolfini at Who's Dated Whom
- Itzkoff, Dave (19 June 2013). "James Gandolfini, 'Sopranos' Star, Dies at 51". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- Biography for James Gandolfini at IMDB.com
- James Gandolfini biography at Biograpgu.com
- James Gandolfini's early years growing up in New Jersey
- Jeff Goldman/The Star-Ledger (June 20, 2013). "Yearbook photos of James Gandolfini acting, playing basketball at Park Ridge High School". NJ.com. New Jersey On-Line LLC. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
- James Gandolfini dead at 51: Yearbook photos show actor as high school athlete, class ‘flirt’ at New York Daily News.com
- "James Gandolfini". AskMen.com. IGN Entertainment, Inc. June 2013. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
- "25 (Not Quite) Random Facts About James Gandolfini". Broadway.com: Broadway Buzz. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
- Dec 27, 2007 (2007-12-27). "The 50 Greatest TV Icons - JAMES GANDOLFINI". EW.com. Retrieved 2013-06-20.
- Awards for James Gandolfini at IMDB.com
- enforcer/ James Gandolfini Movies: 'True Romance, 'Zero Dark Thirty,' 'Not Fade Away,' 'Where The Wild Things Are' & More
- Pit Bull Stars in James Gandolfini's Final Film, “Animal Rescue”
- Gandolfini car crash at Ask Men.com
- James Gandolfini Archives at Hollywood Grind.com
- James Gandolfini PUCNHES Photographer (VIDEO) at Huffington Post.com
- "James Gandolfini died of cardiac arrest". Channel 24 News. Associated Press. June 20, 2013.
- Heart attack killed 'Sopranos' star James Gandolfini, friend says | CNN.com
- "Gandolfini autopsy confirms heart attack as cause of death: source". Yahoo News. Archived from the original on June 24, 2013. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
- CNN Wire Staff (19 June 2013). "Entertainment community mourns James Gandolfini". CNN. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
- "Broadway to dim marquee lights for Gandolfini". UPI. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
- James Gandolfini funeral to be held Thursday at MSN.com
- "Reactions to the Death of James Gandolfini". NYTimes. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
- "Stars share reaction to James Gandolfini's death". Yahoo. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
- "James Gandolfini's death stirs reactions from stars". RGJ. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
- "Governor Christie orders flags at half-staff on Mon., June 24 to recognize James Gandolfini". northjersey.com. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
- "Bruce Springsteen Dedicates 'Born to Run' to James Gandolfini Onstage". RollingStone. June 21, 2013. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
- "Emmys to honor Gandolfini, Monteith, 3 others". Taintongazette.com. Retrieved September 22, 2013.
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