- NAME: James Gandolfini
- OCCUPATION: Film Actor, Theater Actor, Television Actor, Filmmaker
- BIRTH DATE: September 18, 1961
- DEATH DATE: June 19, 2013
- EDUCATION: Rutgers University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Westwood, New Jersey
- PLACE OF DEATH: Rome, Italy
- Full Name: James Joseph Gandolfini Jr.
- AKA: James Joseph Gandolfini
- AKA: James Gandolfini
Best Known For
James Gandolfini was an American actor best known for his role as a mobster on the hit 1999 HBO television series The Sopranos.
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James Gandolfini was an American actor born on September 18, 1961, in Westwood, New Jersey. He discovered acting in the late 1980s and made his Broadway debut in 1992. Gandolfini's breakthrough came in the role of a mobster on the hit 1999 HBO television series The Sopranos. During the show’s six-year run, the actor won numerous accolades, including a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Emmy. Gandolfini died in Italy after suffering a heart attack on June 19, 2013, at age 51.
James Joseph Gandolfini Jr. was born on September 18, 1961, in Westwood, New Jersey. Gandolfini grew up in New Jersey and graduated from Rutgers University. He discovered the stage after spending years as a Manhattan bouncer and nightclub manager. When a friend took him to an acting class in the late 1980s, he was left so unsettled and challenged by a focusing exercise that involved threading a needle that he knew he had to return.
Shortly thereafter, James Gandolfini immersed himself in the New York theater world. His Broadway debut came with the 1992 revival of A Streetcar Named Desire with Jessica Lange and Alec Baldwin. His New York stage credits also include On the Waterfront, One Day Wonder with the Actor's Studio and Tarantulas Dancing at the Samuel Beckett Theatre.
Gandolfini's breakthrough screen role came with his portrayal of Virgil, the philosophizing hit man, in Tony Scott's True Romance with Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette. He went on to play a diverse range of roles in more than 25 motion pictures over his decades-long career, including John Cusack's brother in Money for Nothing, Geena Davis's plumber boyfriend in Angie and a loyal Navy lieutenant in Crimson Tide. He also played a pivotal role in Steve Zaillian's A Civil Action alongside John Travolta and Robert Duvall.
Gandolfini's gift for shedding light on the vulnerable side of seemingly ruthless characters led to his starring role on the acclaimed HBO drama series The Sopranos. In 1999, Gandolfini won both a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of Tony Soprano, a gangster having a midlife crisis. He also won the Emmy Award for outstanding lead actor in a drama series three times—in 2000, 2001 and 2003. Also in 2003, it was announced that The Sopranos would end after its sixth season.
In 2004, Gandolfini appeared in the DreamWorks' comedy Surviving Christmas (2004) with Ben Affleck and the political drama All the King's Men (2006) with Sean Penn. He also continued to work with HBO after The Sopranos ended in 2007, after signing a development deal with the cable channel and its film distribution company, Picturehouse, in August 2006.
Gandolfini began appearing on the big screen again in 2009. He starred in the action dramas The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 and In the Loop, and became a voice in the live-action remake of the children's book Where the Wild Things Are (2009).
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