James Gandolfini Has Died

2013/06/20 00:12:00 +00:00 | Jonathan James

We're sad to report that James Gandolfini has passed away at the age of 51. According to reports, he died of a heart attack while in Italy to attend the 59th Taormina Film Festival. Gandolfini is survived by his wife Deborah Lin, who gave birth to their daughter last October. He also had a son, Michael, from a previous marriage.

Deadline heard from HBO's Chris Albrecht, who had the following to say: “[I'm] Absolutely stunned. I got the word from Lorraine Bracco and just got off with Brad Grey who had just heard from David Chase. We had all become a family. This is a tremendous loss.”

Aside from Fallen, James Gandolfini didn't appear in any real genre movies, but don't underestimate the impact that The Sopranos and James Gandolfini had on television and the entertainment industry. Considered one of the greatest television series ever created, The Sopranos helped usher in a new age of television with projects that attract high profile actors and carry budgets that rival major motion pictures. Newer shows, including The Walking Dead, were inspired by what The Sopranos accomplished and many of the people involved with the series have gone to work on successful TV and movie projects. Our thoughts are with James Gandolfini's wife, children, friends and family. He left us too soon and will be missed.

*Updated with a statement from Gandolfini's managers, confirming his passing [via Deadline]: "It is with immense sorrow that we report our client James Gandolfini passed away today while on holiday in Rome, Italy. 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."

*Updated with a statement from HBO: "We’re all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family. 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. 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."

*Updated with a statement from David Chase: “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. For Deborah and Michael and Lilliana, this is crushing. And 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.”

Source: TMZ