Actor James Gandolfini Dead at 51

Thursday, June 20, 2013

HBO's "The Sopranos" changed television, it changed the entertainment industry and actor James Gandolfini himself changed the character of the Italian-American made guy.

News broke late Wednesday that Gandolfini, who was in Italy for a film festival, died of a heart attack. He was 51.

"We're all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family," a statement from HBO says. "[Gandolfini] was a 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."

Today we take a look back at the impact of Gandolfini's break through role in "The Sopranos," and the cultural significance of the show in America.

We hear from listeners and chat with Chris Carley, co-owner of Holsten's, the Bloomfield, New Jersey restaurant where "Sopranos" creators David Chase filmed the series' iconic final scene.

Of the booth where the Soprano family enjoyed their final dinner onscreen, Carley says, "That booth is closed. When I found out that James had passed away, I put a 'reserved' sign on it and it's been closed since."

Click here to see a photo of the booth, reserved for Gandolfini.

Guests:

Chris Carley

Produced by:

Jay Cowit and Jillian Weinberger

Comments [2]

Bob Loblaw from Miami FL

Did Gandolfini have a history of heart disease? He was 37 when he started on The Sopranos and didn't seem fit then. I will be eating more salads. That's my takeaway.

Jun. 20 2013 09:37 AM
Rich LaMotte

I loved him in Sopranos and I loved the show as much. The entire dialogue about Gary cooper is a great script. I also loved his role in 8mm with Nicolas Cage. He was great in that.

Rich L.

Jun. 20 2013 09:24 AM

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