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The Emmy-winning actor James Gandolfini, known worldwide for his role as Tony Soprano has died at the age of 51. Gandolfini died unexpectedly, on Wednesday June 19, of a heart attack while vacationing in Italy. Michael Kobold, a friend of James Gandolfini’s family, spoke on behalf of the family during a press conference at the Boscolo Exedra Roma Hotel on June 20, 2013 in Rome, Italy.

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“We are all devastated by this loss” “James was a devoted husband, the loving father of two children and a brother and cousin we could always count on.” – Michael Kobold

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Gandolfini will forever be remembered as being one of the most influential characters responsible for the critical acclaim the multiple award winning television drama has received.

David Chase, creator of the Sopranos praised Gandolfini saying:

“He was a genius,”
“Anyone who saw him even in the smallest of his performances knows that. He is one of the greatest actors of this or any time. A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes.
“I remember telling him many times ‘You don’t get it. You’re like Mozart’. There would be silence at the other end of the phone.”

At the time of his death, the actor had been working on upcoming HBO series Criminal Justice, and had two films due out next year – the comedy Enough Said and crime drama Animal Rescue.

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Gandolfini is survived by his wife, Deborah Lin, his 8-month-old daughter, Liliana, and his 13-year-old son from a previous marriage, Michael.

 

Celebrities react to the death of James Gandolfini

Lorraine Bracco  “We lost a giant today. I am utterly heartbroken.”
   
Jeff Daniels  “If Broadway has a version of a guy you want in your foxhole, Jim Gandolfini was mine. During our time together in God of Carnage, we played 320 performances together. He didn’t miss one. Sadly, I now miss him like a brother.”
   
Susan Sarandon  “So sad to lose James Gandolfini. One of the sweetest, funniest, most generous actors I’ve ever worked with. Sending prayers to his family.”
   
Mia Farrow  “Awful, awful news. James Gandolfini  will be missed.  He was a great actor.  Just great.”
   
Christina Applegate  “I am so deeply saddened by the untimely passing of sweet James Gandolfini! My heart is broken for his family!! I’m in shock.”
   
Rob Lowe  “James Gandoldini gave the greatest performance in the history of television. He was also a kind man. Condolences to his family.”
   
Damon Lindelof  “James Gandolfini. You created an icon. And you cut to black way too abruptly. Thank you, and rest in peace.”
   
Olivia Wilde  “James Gandolfini was a kind, funny, wonderful guy. I’m so lucky to have worked with him. Sending love to his family. Such a sad, sad day.”
   
Steve Carell  “James Gandolfini. What a great loss.”
   
Rainn Wilson  “Arrivederci, James Gandolfini. You were one of the great greats. We’ll miss your dangerous, big heart. RIP Gandolfini”
   
Debi Mazar  “Husband informed me that #JamesGandolfini just passed in Italy. I’m devastated. My condolences to his family & friends. He passed in his motherland”
   
Bryan Fuller  “REST IN PEACE, MR. GANDOLFINI”
   
Greg Grunberg  “Terribly Sad News, R.I.P. James Gandolfini”
   
Carson Daly  “SO SAD! PRAYING FOR HIS FAMILY- wow- Shocked by this news today….”
   
Alyssa Milano  “Rest in peace, Mr. Gandolfini.”
   
Jorge Garcia  “So sad. James Gandolfini you will be missed.”
   
David Krumholtz  “R.I.P James Gandolfini. Devastating news. Profound talent gone too soon.”
   
Jonah Hill  “I’m truly heartbroken to hear that James Gandolfini has passed away. He is one of my all-time favorite actors. Tragic loss.”
   
Busy Philipps  “So sad to hear about James Gandolfini. He was such an amazing actor and by all accounts a wonderful person. RIP.”
   
Patton Oswalt  “Bada BULLSH– G’bye, Gandolfini. This sucks.”
   
Martha Plimpton  “No. No no no. So awful.”
   
Russell Simmons  “Not Tony Soprano! Damn. Such a good guy and a great actor. James, rest in peace.”
   
Kristen Johnston  “James Gandolfini was one of the sweetest, loveliest men. He loved theater. I saw him @ Xmas & we laughed so hard. A great, great loss.”
   
Joseph Morgan  “I just heard the sad news. James Gandolfini has died. His speech in True Romance defined the metamorphosis of cold-blooded killer for me.”
   
Brian Baumgartner  “I am shattered by the news of the loss of my longtime hero and new friend, James Gandolfini. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
   
Michael Chiklis  “James Gandolfini. This is a tremendous loss. A brilliant actor and a wonderful man. Our deepest sympathies to his family. Devastating.”
   
Katey Sagal  “Speechless. James Gandolfini. Really sad… Hug the kids.”
   
Denis O’Hare  “So sad to hear about James Gandolfini – a lovely man I had the pleasure of working with once. So funny. So humble. So talented.”