"Jimmy" The Emmys

James J. Gandolfini, Jr.[1] (September 18, 1961 - June 19, 2013) is a Golden Globe-, three-time Emmy- and five-time Screen Actors Guild Award-winning American actor known for multifaceted portrayals of conscientious yet often inherently sinister characters. He is best known for his highly acclaimed role as Tony Soprano in the hit HBO TV series The Sopranos, about a troubled crime boss struggling to balance his family life and his career in the Mafia. Gandolfini's other notable roles include a pornographer Eddie Poole in 8mm, woman-beating mob enforcer Virgil in the Quentin Tarantino-written thriller True Romance, a gay hitman in The Mexican, enforcer/stuntman Bear in Get Shorty, and a martinet military prison commander in The Last Castle. He also played James Goss in Yemar on the Disney Channel.


James's notable movies include several roles in Tony Scott films such as mob henchman Virgil in True Romance (1993), Lt. Bobby Dougherty in Crimson Tide (1995) and Mayor of New York in the remake of the 1974 film epic The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009). Other roles are enforcer and stuntman Bear in Get Shorty (1995) and impulsive "Wild Thing" Carol in Where the Wild Things Are (2009). For his performance as Albert in Enough Said (2013), Gandolfini posthumously received much critical praise and several accolades, including a [Screen Actors Guild Award nomination and the Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor.

After finishing The Sopranos, Gandolfini produced the documentary Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq (2007), in which he interviewed injured Iraq War veterans. His second documentary, Wartorn: 1861–2010 (2010), analyzed the impact of posttraumatic stress disorder on soldiers and families throughout several wars in American history from 1861 to 2010.


Gandolfini died at the age of 51 in Rome, Italy on June 19, 2013. He was expected to travel to Sicily a few days later to receive an award at the Taormina Film Fest. After he and his family had spent a day of sightseeing in sweltering heat, his thirteen-year-old son Michael discovered him unconscious at around 10 pm local time, on the bathroom floor at the Boscolo Exedra Hotel in the Piazza della Repubblica. He called reception, who in turn called emergency paramedics. Gandolfini reportedly arrived at the hospital at 10:40 pm and was pronounced dead at 11 pm.[2] An autopsy confirmed that he had died of a heart attack.[3]

While word of his death spread, politicians such as U.S. Senator John McCain and New Jerse Governer Chris Christie took to the internet to respond.[4][5][6] Christie ordered all New Jersey State buildings to fly flags at half staff on June 24 to honor Gandolfini when his body was returned to the United States.[7] The people of Gandolfini's hometown started a Facebook page to discuss plans to honor him,Template:Citation needed including naming a street after him and renaming the Little Theater at Park Ridge High School after him, where he did his first performances.[8]

The day after Gandolfini's death, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, which has long featured Sopranos co-star Steven Van Zandt on guitar, dedicated a performance of their classic album Born to Run (1975) by doing a rendition for Gandolfini.[9] Gandolfini's body was returned to the United States on June 23, 2013. Family spokesman Michael Kobold thanked both Italian and American authorities for expediting the repatriation process, which normally takes seven days.[10] Broadway dimmed theater marquee lights on the night of Wednesday, June 26 in Gandolfini's honor.[11]

Gandolfini's funeral service was held on June 27, 2013, at the Episcopal Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in Morningside Heights, New York. He was cremated and his ashes were given to his closest loved ones.


  1. "James Gandolfini Is Dead at 51; a Complex Mob Boss in 'The Sopranos'", The New York Times. Retrieved on December 5, 2015. 
  2. "James Gandolfini died of cardiac arrest", News24, June 20, 2013. 
  3. "James Gandolfini Cause of Death: Autopsy Confirms Heart Attack Killed 'Sopranos' Star, Source Says", The Huffington Post. Retrieved on June 11, 2015. 
  4. "Reactions to the Death of James Gandolfini", The New York Times. Retrieved on June 21, 2013. 
  5. Stars share reaction to James Gandolfini's death. Yahoo!. Retrieved on June 21, 2013.
  6. James Gandolfini's death stirs reactions from stars. RGJ. Retrieved on June 21, 2013.
  7. Governor Christie orders flags at half-staff on Mon., June 24 to recognize James Gandolfini. Retrieved on June 21, 2013.
  8. Ex-classmates want street named after Gandolfini. FIOS News 1. Retrieved on June 26, 2013.
  9. Bruce Springsteen Dedicates 'Born to Run' to James Gandolfini Onstage. Rolling Stone (June 21, 2013). Retrieved on June 21, 2013.
  10. "James Gandolfini's Body Returned to U.S.", 23 June 2013. 
  11. "Broadway to dim marquee lights for Gandolfini". Retrieved on June 25, 2013. 

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