CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.
TV News: ‘The Sopranos’ Star James Gandolfini Dead at 51
CHICAGO – James Gandolfini, who gave us one of the most influential and timeless characters of all time as Tony Soprano on “The Sopranos,” has passed away at the age of 51 after suffering a heart attack on vacation in Italy, where he was to receive an award at a film festival this week, according to Variety.
The star of HBO’s incredible drama, for which he won three Best Actor Emmys, recently appeared in “Zero Dark Thirty” and “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.” He was working on “Animal Rescue,” “Criminal Justice,” and “Taxi 22.” Other notable credits include “True Romance,” “Get Shorty,” “Where the Wild Things Are,” “Killing Them Softly,” and “Not Fade Away.”
Photo credit: HBO
He won acclaim in film and on stage but Gandolfini will forever be associated with the lead role in David Chase’s incredible “The Sopranos.” For that role he won three Emmys, a Golden Globe, an AFI Award, three individual Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three TCA Awards. His willingness to take on such a complex role as Tony Soprano and make a character who many would have portrayed as purely a villain before three-dimensional influenced dozens of programs and performers who would follow in his wake. He also produced a series of documentaries about war and its veterans for HBO — “Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq” and “Wartorn: 1861-2010.” We extend our deepest condolences to his friends and family.