Tony nominee and three-time Emmy winner James Gandolfini, best known for his long run as mobster Tony Soprano on The Sopranos has died, according to The New York Daily News. The actor reportedly suffered a heart attack in Rome. He was 51.
Gandolfini garnered a 2009 Best Actor in Play Tony nomination his performance in Yasmina Reza’s Tony-winning play God of Carnage. Born and raised in Westwood, New Jersey, the actor got his first break when he made his Broadway debut in the 1992 production of A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Alec Baldwin and Jessica Lange. He also appeared on the Great White Way in a short-lived run of On the Waterfront in 1995. His many off-Broadway credits include Big El’s Best Friend, Tarantula’s Dancing, Summer Winds, One Day Wonder and The Danger of Strangers. In addition to his Emmy wins, Gandolfini won a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for six seasons on HBO's The Sopranos. His breakthrough film role was in True Romance, which launched him into such films as Money for Nothing, Angie, Crimson Tide, The Juror, A Civil Action, Surviving Christmas, Get Shorty, The Mexican, All the King’s Men, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, In the Loop, Where the Wild Things Are, Zero Dark Thirty and more.
“I like to play people like my parents,” Gandolfini explained on Inside the Actors Studio in 2004. “My parents worked hard. They were honest. They were good people. They’re the kind of people that I love, and the kind of people that I want to show in movies. Because I think they’re getting screwed.”
Gandolfini is survived by his wife, Deborah Lin, and two children, Michael and Liliana.