James Gandolfini dead after heart attack
By JAMIE SCHRAM, MICHAEL STARR and DAN MacLEOD / Posted: 7:32 PM, June 19, 2013 / http://www.nypost.com/
James Gandolfini, the heavyweight actor who won multiple Emmy Awards for his role as mob boss Tony Soprano in the smash HBO series, died today.
HBO confirmed his death. He was 51.
Gandolfini suffered a heart attack in Italy. He was due to appear at the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily this weekend.
“It is with immense sorrow that we report our client James Gandolfini passed away today while on holiday in Rome, Italy,” said a statement from agents, Mark Armstrong and Nancy Sanders.
“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,”
Tony Sirico, "Pinkie on "The Sopranos," said in a statement: "He is my best friend in life. He helped me more than anyone else with my career. he is a great person and a family guy."
Gandolfini had battled drug and alcohol addiction, it was revealed during a divorce in 2002.
The Westwood, N.J., actor played Soprano in the critically acclaimed HBO series, which ran from 1999 to 2007.
His character died in the season finale — but the audience never actually sees the moment of his death.
“When I first saw the ending, I said, ‘What the f--k?’” Gandolfini told Vanity Fair of the last episode. “I mean, after all I went through, all this death, and then it’s over like that?”
Gandolfini, who was born on Sept. 18, 1961, attended Rutgers University and launched his acting career on the New York stage — and had his first Broadway role in 1992’s “A Streetcar Named Desire.”
His breakout big screen role was as a hitman in the Quentin Tarentino-penned “True Romance.”
Gandolfini recently played Leon Panetta in “Zero Dark Thirty,” which is based on the raid to take down Osama Bin Laden.
He was set to star in a seven-episode series called “Criminal Justice” on HBO.
Gandolfini lived in Greenwich Village.
“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,” HBO said in a statment.
“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.
"Lost" producer Damon Laurence Lindelof tweeted:
“James Gandolfini. You created an icon. And you cut to black way too abruptly. Thank you, and rest in peace.”