The Sopranos actor James Gandolfini is dead at 51. Sources have confirmed that Gandolfini suffered a massive heart attack today while in Italy. Gandolfini was reportedly in Italy to attend the 59th Taormina Film Festival in Sicily, he was also scheduled to participate in a festival event this weekend with Italian director Gabriele Muccino.
“Everyone is in tears,” the source tells the Daily News.
James leaves behind wife Deborah Lin, daughter Liliana Ruth Gandolfini and son Michael Gannascoli.
Soprano’s creator, David Chase tells TMZ “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.” Chase continued, “For Deborah and Michael and Liliana this is crushing, it’s bad for the rest of the world. He wasn’t easy sometimes. But he was my partner, he was my brother in ways I can’t explain and never will be able to explain.” He added, “He was a great man and I will forever be indebted to him.”
Joseph R. Gannascoli , who co-stared on the hit show ‘The Sopranos’ whose character was Vito told members of the press, “James is one guy who never turned his back on me. He was the most humble and gifted actor and person I have ever worked with. He was a great man and I will forever be indebted to him.”
Gannascoli’s credits included the 1993 hit True Romance, The Sopranos in which he won three Emmy awards, Get Shorty, The Mexican, and Zero Dark Thirty.