Hollywood legend James Gandolfini – who played Tony Soprano on the 1999 HBO movie series The Sopranos – has died in Italy. He was aged 51.
The star reportedly died of a heart attack in Italy, where he had gone to attend the 59th Taormina Film Festival in Sicily. He was also on vacation there.
HBO Network has released a statement confirming his tragic death. ‘We’re all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family,’ the statement read. ‘He was special man, a great talent, but more importantly a gentle and loving person who treated everyone no matter their title or position with equal respect. He touched so many of us over the years with his humor, his warmth and his humility. Our hearts go out to his wife and children during this terrible time. He will be deeply missed by all of us.’
Gandolfini’s management has also released a statement, which says, ‘It is with immense sorrow that we report our client James Gandolfini passed away today while on holiday in Rome, Italy. ‘Our hearts are shattered and we will miss him deeply. He and his family were part of our family for many years and we are all grieving.’
James Gandolfini first shot into fame after he appeared as a hitman in the film True Romance in 1993. His fame then extended to the legend status after he starred in the hit series The Sopranos which ran on HBO Network from 1999 to 2007. He also won 3 Emmys for his role in the series.
Ever since then, he has appeared on other hit movies like Zero Dark Thirty, Get Shorty, The Mexican and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.
He is survived by his wife Deborah Lin, a daughter and a son from a previous marriage.