The Sopranos star spotted a stricken driver stranded on a street in Manhattan's West Village on Monday evening (27Dec10) and went over to help out.
The actor dug the car out of the snow and recruited a number of strangers to help him push the vehicle out of the drift, and afterwards he went to nearby bar/restaurant Daddy-O to change a $100 note to hand out tips to those who had helped.
Daddy-O owner Phil Casaceli tells the New York Post gossip column Page Six, "Bedford Street didn't get ploughed until late Monday night, and the whole street was a three-foot drift of snow. Somebody driving down the street got stuck in their car around 8pm - and the next minute, James Gandolfini appeared from another car behind and offered to help out. He helped dig their car out and then rocked it back and forth to get it out of the snow bank. He used a lot of old-school elbow grease.
"It took him 45 minutes to get the car unstuck. Some offered to help, and others just watched because you don't often see Tony Soprano digging people out of the snow. It was a real New York moment. Somebody had the luck of the draw, and it was James Gandolfini who came to their rescue.
"(After changing a note in the bar) he then took the $20 bills to thank the guys who helped them out. He was a real gentleman."