Actor James Gandolfini dies at 51

Actor James Gandolfini is dead at 51. He suffered a massive heart attack while on a trip to Italy with his son, Michael.
James Gandolfini (the New Jersey-bred actor whose Mafia-boss character survived six seasons of mob hits and panic attacks on “The Sopranos”) died Wednesday in Italy. He was 51.
The man behind Tony Soprano was with his teenage son, Michael (13), when he suffered a massive heart attack – a source close to the barrel-chested actor said.
Gandolfini and his family had spent “a beautiful day out together,” the actor’s assistant, Tom Richardson, told friend Mike Sullivan on Wednesday.

Actor James Gandolfini dies at 51
James Gandolfini.

The body of actor James Gandolfini was transferred to a hospital morgue in Rome early Thursday, where it awaits an autopsy.
By law, medical examiners in Italy are required to carry out the postmortem 24 hours after the body’s arrival in the morgue, a hospital spokesman said.
Before Italian authorities can release his remains for transport back to the United States, the U.S. Embassy in Rome must issue a death certificate.
Gandolfini was not alive when he arrived by ambulance at the Policlinico hospital late Wednesday – spokesman Antonio Spasola said.
No one from the embassy or Gandolfini’s family has contacted the morgue yet – he said.
Though the cause of death is not yet known, his managers believe that a heart attack killed the man who portrayed Tony Soprano, a washed-up mob boss prone to keeling over from panic attacks.

Gandolfini won three Emmy Awards for his portrayal of Tony Soprano, the angst-wracked mob boss who visited a therapist and took Prozac while knocking off people. “The Sopranos” aired from 1999 to 2007.
“Jimmy was the spiritual core of our Sopranos family, and I am stunned at this devastating loss” – said Chris Albrecht, the former president of HBO who gave the green light to the show. “He was a great talent, but an even better man. My thoughts are with his family.”
HBO is owned by TimeWarner, which is also CNN’s parent company.
Actor Steve Van Zandt, who played Tony Soprano’s confidant Silvio Dante, felt equally close to Gandolfini in real life. “I have lost a brother and a best friend” – he posted on Twitter. “The world has lost one of the greatest actors of all time.”
Gandolfini was born Sept. 18, 1961, in Westwood, New Jersey, according to
He graduated from Rutgers University and, as the story goes, worked as a bartender and a bouncer in New York City until he went with a friend to an acting class.
He got his start on Broadway, with a role in the 1992 revival of “A Streetcar Named Desire” with Jessica Lange and Alec Baldwin.

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