‘The Sopranos’ star James Gandolfini has passed away.
The actor died earlier today from a heart attack while in Italy, reports Deadline. He was 51 years old.
“Everyone is in tears,” a source close to the actor told the NY Daily News.
He was in Italy for the 59th annual Taormina Film Festival, where he was expected to participate in the festivities with director Gabriele Muccino.
James famously played mobster Tony Soprano in the HBO hit show ‘The Sopranos’. He won 3 Emmy awards for the role during the show’s 6-season run.
“I seek out good stories, basically — that’s it,” he told The Star-Ledger last December.
Gandolfini’s wife, former model Deborah Lin, gave birth to a baby girl last October. The couple married in Hawaii in 2008.
UPDATE: David Chase, creator of The Sopranos, told Us Weekly: “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 Liliana 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.”
Gandolfini’s managers, Mark Armstrong and Nancy Sanders, added: “It is with immense sorrow that we report our client James Gandolfini passed away today while on holiday in Rome, Italy,” they 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.”
May he rest in peace.