James Gandolfini of HBO's The Sopranos Dead at 51

Fans of mob television are mourning the loss of three time Emmy Award-winning actor James Gandolfini, best known for the notorious role of Tony Soprano in HBO’s “The Sopranos.”

According to various reports, the 51-year-old “mob boss” took his last breath in Italy after a “massive heart attack.” Gandolfini was on vacation in Rome with his 13-year-old son at the time and was set to attend the Taormina Film Festival, which ends on June 22nd.

Mr. Gandolfini, an Italian-American New Jersey native, began his acting career in a low-budget film in 1987. Through the mid 1990’s he began making a name for himself playing gangster roles in other small films but was virtually unknown to the masses until he was cast as Tony Soprano in 1999.

“The Sopranos” ran for 8 successful years on HBO and brought Gandolfini fame beyond belief. After the series ended in 2007, the actor became press shy and tried to live pretty low key. And who could blame him? The guy probably couldn’t take a leak in a public restroom without hearing someone holler  “Ayeee, Tony!” behind him.

In addition to his son, James Gandolfini is survived by his wife Deborah Lin and an 8-month-old daughter. So sad 🙁

Our condolences go out to all of his family, friends, colleagues and fans.

May his soul rest in peace.

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