James Gandolfini, best known for his work as the troubled crime boss on HBO’s hit series The Sopranos, has passed away at the age of 51.
The multi-talented actor passed away of a heart attack in Italy on Wednesday, according to several published reports. Gandolfini was oversees to take part in the 59th Taormina Film Festival in Sicily alongside Italian director Gabriele Muccino.
HBO released the following statement: “We’re all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family. He was special man, a great talent, but more importantly a gentle and loving person who treated everyone no matter their title or position with equal respect. He touched so many of us over the years with his humor, his warmth and his humility. Our hearts go out to his wife and children during this terrible time. He will be deeply missed by all of us.”
Gandolfini wowed audiences with his performances as mafia boss Tony Soprano for six seasons on the HBO smash series — earning three Emmy awards for Best Actor in a Drama. The actor also has appeared in a multitude of films such as The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009), Killing Them Softly (2012), Zero Dark Thirty (2012) and this year’s The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.
Our prayers are with Gandolfini’s family and friends during this difficult time.