After hearing that James Gandolfini suddenly died in Italy yesterday, the ice cream parlor in Bloomfield, NJ where the final scene of The Sopranos was shot paid tribute in a touching and poignant way. Holsten’s reserved the booth where James played his final scene as Tony Soprano while Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ played in the background. (Or as my uneducated ass 20-something cousin calls Don’t Stop Believin, “that song from Laguna Beach.” That song from Laguna Beach! Yes, I have filed a harassment report against her on behalf of Journey.) The Hollywood Reporter says that Holsten’s was packed to the top all night and every seat was taken except for the seats where Tony and his family last sat.
James’ Sopranos co-stars also paid tribute to him by releasing statements.
Lorraine Bracco: “We lost a giant today. I am utterly heartbroken.”
Michael Imperioli: “Jimmy treated us all like family with a generosity, loyalty and compassion that is rare in this world.. Working with him was a pleasure and a privilege. I will be forever grateful having had a friend the likes of Jimmy.”
Stevie Van Zandt: “The world has lost one of the greatest actors of all time. Maureen and I send our deepest sympathy and love to Deborah, Michael, Lily, and all of Jimmy’s family.”
Edie Falco: “I am shocked and devastated by Jim’s passing. He was a man of tremendous depth and sensitivity, with a kindness and generosity beyond words. I consider myself very lucky to have spent 10 years as his close colleague. My heart goes out to his family. As those of us in his pretend one hold on to the memories of our intense and beautiful time together. The love between Tony and Carmela was one of the greatest I’ve ever known.”
James’ assistant Tom Richardson told USA Today that he wasn’t only in Italy to accept an award at the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily on Saturday, but he was also there to re-connect with his roots. Tom said that James, his wife, his baby daughter and his 13-year-old son Michael all spent the day together in Rome and everything was fine until he started to feel awful at around 10pm.
“We all had a marvelous day together, and when he returned to the hotel Jimmy [Gandolfini] went to the bathroom and that is where something happened. His sister said he was still alive when the ambulance took him away.”
The hospital is going to do an autopsy, but they told the media that they believe he died of a heart attack.
Pic: via @JKlekamp