Actor James Gandolfini, best known for his role as tough guy Tony Soprano in HBO's mobster hit The Sopranos, died from an apparent heart attack while vacationing in Italy, reported the New York Daily News on Wednesday. He was 51.
Finding success as an actor fairly late in life, Gandolfini initially made ends meet working as a bartender and a nightclub manager while juggling his acting career. He catapulted to stardom when The Sopranos aired in 1999 and garnered three Emmys.
Known for being press shy, the New Jersey native had, by and large, steered clear of the limelight since the series ended in 2007 but offered his talents on Broadway in the hit God of Carnage in 2009. More recently, he played supporting roles in Zero Dark Thirty and Not Fade Away.
When word got out that Gandolfini had died, an outpouring of well wishes and sadness immediately flooded the celebrity Twittersphere. Here are some notable condolences via E! Online:
Ewan McGregor: "Jesus. The world just lost one of its great actors. James Gandolfini has passed away. Thoughts to his family. Such a talent. I'm saddened."
Christina Applegate: "I am so deeply saddened by the untimely passing of sweet James Gandolfini! My heart is broken for his family!! I'm in shock"
Rob Lowe: "James Gandoldini [sic] gave the greatest performance in the history of television. He was also a kind man. Condolences to his family."
Olivia Wilde: "James Gandolfini was a kind, funny, wonderful guy. I'm so lucky to have worked with him. Sending love to his family. Such a sad, sad day."
Rainn Wilson: "Arrivederci, James Gandolfini. You were one of the great greats. We'll miss your dangerous, big heart. #RIPGandolfini"
Russell Simmons: "Not tony soprano! Damn. Such a good guy and a great actor. James, rest in peace..."
As a homage to Gandolfini, we'd like to take a moment to celebrate some of Tony Soprano's best quotes:
“All due respect, you got no f-----g idea what it's like to be Number One. Every decision you make affects every facet of every other f-----g thing. It's too much to deal with almost. And in the end you're completely alone with it all.”
“There's an old Italian saying: you f--k up once, you lose two teeth.”
“A wrong decision is better than indecision.”
“I wipe my a-- with your feelings.”
“Even a broken clock is right twice a day.”
“It's good to be in something from the ground floor. I came too late for that and I know. But lately, I'm getting the feeling that I came in at the end. The best is over.”
Gandolfini is survived by his wife Deborah Lin, whom he married in 2008. The couple had a baby girl last October. Gandolfini also has a son with ex-wife Marcy Wudarski.