James Gandolfini Dies of Heart Attack; The Sopranos Star Was 51

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James Gandolfini died earlier today in Italy, according to reports. The Sopranos star is believed to have suffered a heart attack, and was just 51 years old.

James Gandolfini Photo

Deadline was the first source to report Gandolfini's death.

He was in Italy to attend the 59th Taormina Film Festival in Sicily, and was scheduled to appear in an event this weekend with director Gabriele Muccino.

"Everyone is in tears," a N.Y. Daily News source said.

Gandolfini has appeared in many successful TV shows and films, but he truly became a Hollywood star when he was cast as Tony Soprano in 1999.

He won three Emmy awards for The Sopranos.

The press-shy star got his start as a character actr, became famous relatively late in his career, and stayed largely out of the limelight once The Sopranos ended.

The burly Westwood, N.J. native is survived by his wife, former model Deborah Lin, who gave birth to a baby girl last October. The pair wed in 2008.

Gandolfini, who spent part of his early career supporting himself as a bartender and nightclub manager, also has a son with his ex-wife, Marcy Wudarski.


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A genius in show biz is gone. His character of Tony Soprano could never be replaced by anyone accept Mr. Gandolfini. He used a line in the Soprano's often.....He always loved Gary Cooper, & said that he was the "strong & silent type". Kinda like you dear man. May God Bless your soul. R.I.P. You went way too soon. Your will be dearly missed.


I loved James Gandolfini. No one could play Tony Soprano like he did. In person, he was very humble. He will truly be missed. Such a great talent. My condolences to his wife, & family. I have watched every episode of the Soprano's since day one, & I am deeply saddened by his passing. He died way too soon. God Bless you Mr. Soprano for the many years of your incredible talent. R.I.P.


RIP James Gandolfini. You will be missed, but we will always remember you in your roles forever. Sopranos, The Mexican, Killing them Softly, Get Shorty, 8MM. . . Great talent.


Hard to believe hes only 1 yrear older than Johnny Depp. Also hard to believe he was in his early 40's when he was Tony Soprano. Just saying time was hard on his body. the weight prob didn't help either.


I can't believe he is dead.he will be greatly miss


wow.... will be missed.... loved him as Tony Soprano


The news reports said he was in Italy with his sister, and son from his first marriage. In all reports, there is no mention of Deborah Lin, his Chinese second wife. I wonder why she wasn't on vacation with him? In the past, Gandolfini proudly posed with Deborah at many industry events. Was she home taking care of their baby, or were they estranged already?

@ Joe Duffy

Damn Joe! is it really that important to know things that are really none of your business???

@ Rachel



My deepest sympathies goes out to his family. What an incredible loss....He will be missed.


Mr. James Gandolfini...The entertainment industry will NEVER be the same without you. REST IN PEACE SIR!!!!! Amen.


Thinking about James and how our local Quick Chek prepared to have a scene of the Sopranos shot there many years ago. He was a Jersey boy and we loved him and now we'll miss him. :( Condolences to his family and friends.

James Gandolfini Biography

James Gandolfini Photo James Gandolfini is a veteran actor of movies and television, but everyone knows him for one major role at this point: Tony Soprano. The... More »
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James Gandolfini