The legendary actor who played mob boss Tony Soprano on HBO's hit series The Sopranos died on Wednesday in Italy. Although the cause of death hasn't been confirmed, an Italian
he suffered a heart attack in the bathroom of his hotel and was alive when he was rushed to the hospital. The three-time Emmy winner was on vacation in the southern European country, scheduled to attend the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily.
"We're all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family," . The TV station said Gandolfini "was a 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 is survived by his wife, Deborah Lin, and two children, Michael, 13, and Liliana, 9 months.
Sex and the City actor Gilles Marini said he was heartbroken over his friend's death. "Last Saturday, he told me at our kids' graduation that he was so happy to go with his son to Italy," the actor, who taught Gandolfini's son to play soccer, posted on his
page. Other celebrities rushed to social media to share their condolences. TV host Carson Daly
his sorrows and expressed his shock over the tragic news. Actress Olivia Wilde, who appeared in the comedy The Incredible Burt Wonderstone alongside the deceased, , "James Gandolfini was a kind, funny, wonderful guy. I'm so lucky to have worked with him. Sending love to his family. Such a sad, sad day."
The big-hearted man grew up in Park Ridge, NJ, and drove trucks and bartended before hitting it big in 1999 with his lead role in The Sopranos. His part as Tony is said to have helped the show and HBO compete among the best programs and networks in the business. In total, Gandolfini was nominated six times for an Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a drama. , "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."
We send our condolences to James Gandolfini's family and friends.