James Gandolfini, best known for his role as the mob boss on HBO’s “The Sopranos,” died Wednesday [June 19th] while on vacation in Italy. He was 51. CNN first first reported the story, noting that official reports have been issued as to the cause of the death. However, Gandolfini managers suggest that the actor may have succumb to a possible heart attack.
Here’s the official statement given to CNN from Gandolfini’s managers:
“His body is in a hospital morgue in Rome. Once the U.S. Embassy issues a death certificate, Gandolfini’s remains can be returned to the United States “
“It is with immense sorrow that we report our client, James Gandolfini, passed away today while on holiday in Rome, Italy,” managers Mark Armstrong and Nancy Sanders said in a joint statement. 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.”
The actor had been scheduled to make an appearance at the Taormina Film Fesstival in Sicily this week.
Fox news reported [an hour ago] that new information has come forward stating that Gandolfini’s 13-year old son was the who found his father lying unconscious in the hotel room of Rome.
“Dr. Claudio Modini, head of the hospital emergency room, said Gandolfini arrived at the hospital at 10:40 p.m. and was pronounced dead after resuscitation efforts in the ambulance and hospital failed. Gandolfini was pronounced dead at 11:00pm– reports Fox news.”
CNN – Gandolfini won three Emmy Awards for his portrayal of Tony Soprano, the angst-wracked mob boss who visited a therapist and took Prozac while knocking off people. “The Sopranos” aired from 1999 to 2007.
Co-star Eddie Falco worked with Gandolfini for close to 10 years told EW radio:
“I am shocked and devastated by Jim’s passing. He was a man of tremendous depth and sensitivity, with a kindness and generosity beyond words. I consider myself very lucky to have spent 10 years as his close colleague. My heart goes out to his family. [I] hold on to the memories of our intense and beautiful time together. The love between Tony and Carmela was one of the greatest I’ve ever known.”
There has been outpour of condolences and prayers sent out to Gandolfini’s family – many of whom worked with and or were close with the star. Here’s a few:
“Fifty-one and leaves a kid — he was newly married. His son is fatherless now … It’s way too young.” — Joe Gannascoli, who played Vito Spatafore on “The Sopranos.”
“The great James Gandolfini passed away today. Only 51. I can’t believe it.” — Bette Midler on Twitter.
“James Gandolfini what a nice guy, so funny and sweet. He will be sorely missed. Our deepest condolences to his family.” — Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry on Twitter.
“I am heartbroken about James Gandolfini. He was a gentle giant and great man. I love this picture, I loved him.” — Actress Rose McGowan, who posted a snapshot of her and Gandolfini on Twitter.
“You will be missed greatly James Gandolfini Maybe best actor ever on a tv series. Salute’” — Comedian Artie Lange on Twitter.
“awful awful news. James Gandolfini will be missed. He was a great actor. Just great.” — Mia Farrow on Twitter.
”My thoughts and prayers go out to James Gandolfini’s family. An extraordinary actor. RIP, Mr. Gandolfini.” — Robin Williams.
“R.I.P. James Gandolfini. Such a great actor. More than just tony soprano and that would have been a lot on its own.” — Musician Rob Thomas on Twitter.
RIP – James Gandolfini.