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James Gandolfini is an American actor best known for his role as a mobster in the hit 1999 HBO television series The Sopranos.
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James Gandolfini is an American actor born on September 18, 1961, in Westwood, New Jersey. He discovered acting in the late ‘80s and made his Broadway debut in the 1992. Gandolfini’s breakthrough came in the role of a mobster in the hit 1999 HBO television series The Sopranos. During the show’s six year run, the actor won numerous accolades including a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award and an Emmy. Gandolfini continues to act in both television and film roles today.
Actor James Gandolfini 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, he immersed himself in the New York theater world. His Broadway debut came in 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 has played a diverse range of roles in more than 25 motion pictures, including John Cusack's brother in Money for Nothing, Geena Davis' 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 with John Travolta and Robert Duvall.
Gandolfini's gift for shedding light on the vulnerable side of seemingly ruthless characters led to his starring role in 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 has also won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 2000, 2001, and 2003. In 2003, the show's executive producer announced that its sixth season would be the last.
In 2004, Gandolfini appeared in DreamWorks' comedy Surviving Christmas (2004) with Ben Affleck and the political drama All the King's Men (2006) with Sean Penn. Reportedly there are also plans in the works for Gandolfini to play literary legend Ernest Hemingway in a film that focuses on the writer's relationship with journalist Martha Gellhorn, who became his third wife. He also continued to work with HBO after The Sopranos ended in 2007, after he signed a development deal with the cable channel and its film distribution company, Picturehouse, in August 2006.
In 2009, Gandolfini began appearing on the big screen again. 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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