The news that Golden Globe-winning Sopranos actor James Gandolfini died suddenly of a heart attack in Rome Wednesday at the age of 51 has shattered the entertainment world. But the man who played tough mob boss Tony Soprano on the hit HBO drama had a gentler acting persona, as seen in this darling dramatic reading of Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book In The Night Kitchen.
The performance was part of an 80th birthday celebration for the Newbery Medal winner, which took place on September, 15, 2008, at the 92Y in New York City. Gandolfini is also the voice of Carol, one of the Wild Things in the 2009 film adaptation of Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are.
Gandolfini is no stranger to the stage; his Broadway credits include God of Carnage (2009), A Streetcar Named Desire (1992), On The Waterfront (1995).