In what could be considered to be pout of left field, Sopranos star, James Gandolfini, has passed away at the age of 51.
The actor, who most recently was seen in films such as Zero Dark Thirty and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, reportedly died of a serious heart attack while in Rome. The actor had been in Italy to attend the 59th Taormina Film Festival in Sicily, where he was scheduled to participate in a festival event with Italian director, Gabriele Muccino.
Gandolfini became well-known for his role as Tony Soprano in the hit HBO series, The Sopranos. He played the mob boss for a total of six seasons from 1999-2007 which earned him a total of six Emmy nominations and three wins in a row for best actor in a drama.
“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,” his managers Mark Armstrong and Nancy Sanders confirmed.
Shortly after his managers’ confirmation, HBO released the following statement:
“We’re all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family. 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.”
The actor’s new seven-part series, Criminal Justice, an adaptation of Peter Moffat’s BBC crime entry, is scheduled to premiere on HBO after the network decided to pass on it. Upon finding out that their competitors were taking an interest in the show, HBO finally decided in May that they would pick up the series.
Gandolfini is survived by his wife of four years, Deborah Lin, who gave birth to the couple’s daughter, Liliana in October as well as a teenage son from a previous marriage who called the cops when his father had collapsed.
Long live Tony Soprano and don’t forget to put some Journey today.