[[wysiwyg_imageupload:8840:]]Best known for portraying Tony Soprano in the HBO series, The Sopranos, actor James Gandolfini is dead at the age of 51 from an apparent heart attack while on holiday in Italy.
The news of Gandolfini's death hit earlier today, where Deadline broke the story including the following from HBO's Chris Albrecht, who was responsible for greenlighting The Sopranos.
"Absolutely stunned. I got the word from Lorraine Bracco and just got off with Brad Grey who had just heard from David Chase. We had all become a family. This is a tremendous loss," he told Deadline.
HBO also 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."
James Joseph Gandolfini, Jr. was born on September 18, 1961 to devout Roman Catholic Italian parents and grew up in Park Ridge, New Jersey.
In addition to The Sopranos, the Emmy-Award winning actor recently starred in Zero Dark Thirty, Killing Them Softly and is also known for 8MM, and has a new movie coming out next year with Animal Rescue.
Gandolfini also produced four projects including the Criminal Justice TV series and starred as Jack Stone.
James Gandolfini is survived by his wife, Deborah, and son, Michael.