If you just heard someone screaming, “What the fuck!?“, that was me after reading that James Gandolfini died suddenly in Italy today. Deadline, CNN and TMZ says that James was in Sicily for the 59th Taormina Film Festival and he was supposed to make an appearance this weekend. It hasn’t been confirmed what he died from, but it’s been reported that he had a heart attack. James was only 51.
Before The Sopranos, James played the crazy lady-beating mobster Virgil in True Romance, the crazy Russian mobster Ben Pinkwater in Terminal Velocity and a mob enforcer in The Juror. He played a lot of mobsters and he played them well. After The Sopranos, which he won 3 Emmys for, he had roles in Welcome to the Rileys, Where the Wild Things Are, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Cinema Verite and Zero Dark Thirty. James’ last movie, Animal Rescue, which also stars Tom Hardy and an adorable pit bull puppy, comes out next year.
James is survived by his wife Deborah Lin, their 8-month-old daughter and his teenage son from a previous marriage. I know, he just had a baby. Well, this is awful and I usually listen to “Don’t Stop Believin” once a day, but not today.
Rest in peace, James Gandolfini.