As word of James Gandolfini’s death at just 51 stunned the entertainment world, numerous tributes poured forth from colleagues and fans alike. Those that knew him, those that respected him, and particularly those that shared a common New Jersey heritage with the Sopranos star offered thoughts and memories about the actor.
The organizers of the Taormina Film Festival on the Italian island of Sicily are revamping their festival program to pay tribute to the actor. Gandolfini was in Rome when he died, en route to the Sicilian resort town where he was supposed to receive an award this weekend.
— Both Schirripa and Van Zandt starred alongside Gandolfini in The Sopranos
— Chris Christie is the current governor of New Jersey, Gandolfini’s home state and the setting for the HBO show
Gandolfini appeared on Inside the Actors Studio in 2009:
The Sopranos creator David Chase offered a heartfelt statement about the man who played his show’s main character:
“He was a genius. Anyone who saw him even in the smallest of his performances knows that… I remember telling him many times, ‘You don’t get it. You’re like Mozart.’”
Director Michael Roskam, the last filmmaker to work with Gandolfini on the upcoming movie Animal Rescue, told TheWrap:
“It was such an honor to work with Mr Gandolfini and nothing but a pleasure to see him perform. He was one of the greatest. I’m so sad and thinking about his family. I wanted to make him proud with the movie we made together and now it will be in his loving memory.”
Gandolfini is best known for his portrayal of Tony Soprano in the HBO show that ran for six seasons. See the best clips from The Sopranos throughout its run: