So late last night, the world was given the unfortunate news of the passing of well known TV and silver screen actor, James Gandolfini. The news comes from Italy, at the age of 51 Gandolfini passed away last night due to a heart attack, he was in visiting Rome on a holiday vacation. He was rushed to the hospital from his hotel room, when at roughly 11 PM last night his heart stopped. Autopsy has yet to be delivered, but should be available soon as the week goes by. In his acting career, Gandolfini amassed plenty of trophies and accolades, especially for his now infamous role as mob boss, Tony Soprano in the hit TV drama, The Sopranos. He won three Emmy Awards for his performance as the unstable mob boss, with deep personal and family issues. He also did several different films and did a stint in Broadway as well, which earned him a nomination for a Tony award in 2009. Sadly, he leaves his newly wed wife, his young daughter and a son from his first marriage. Many who worked with him over the years are mourning the lost today and calling this death, sudden and tragic.
Even as a young teen growing up, watching The Sopranos to me felt so unreal. I say this because I forgot at times that this was a TV show, Gandolfini was Tony Soprano, he was so real. There were all the parts he had to play in being Tony, being a mob boss, a father, a husband, a son and most importantly playing a man who’s stress was catching up with him. There was never a doubt about his on screen performance, it was incredible, you see him as a man who is trying to do the best to keep his family together and you can see a ruthless cold killer, and all of this in the same episode. Needless to say he made the show, and he carried it well during the course of the 6 seasons that The Sopranos ran for. I remember one scene that stands out for me, is when Tony killed Ralphie. He confronts him with a fire that happened the night before at one the racetracks, which ends up killing one of the horses he owned. Ralphie lies about the fire, but Tony can see through and beats him to death. The thing was, Ralphie should have been killed earlier for other reasons, but it end up being animal cruelty that made Tony lose it and take him out for good. An awesome scene, highly suggest everyone look it up.
It’s really sad to see anyone pass away, but we need to take away what we were given here. We need to be inspired by his talent, dedication and attention to detail in bringing his characters and stories to life, we need to push ourselves as much if not more and leave something behind just like the great Gandolfini did in his works. James Gandolfini was born on September 18, 1961.