Hollywood is grieving again. Another of its best talents, James Gandolfini, has died at 51 years old after a suspected massive heart attack in Italy. "It is with immense sorrow that we report our client James Gandolfini passed away today while on holiday in Rome, Italy," his management confirmed the sad news on June 19. "Our hearts are shattered and we will miss him deeply. He and his family were part of our family for many years and we are all grieving."
The actor, best known for his portrayal of mob boss Tony Soprano on HBO's series "The Sopranos", was scheduled to attend the 59th Taormina Film Festival in Sicily on Thursday and to participate in an onstage conversation with Italian director Gabriele Muccino on Saturday. He is survived by his wife Deborah Lin and his son Michael, from his previous marriage with Marcy Wudarski.
HBO is among those who have reacted to the shocking news. "We're all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family," it said in a statement. "He was special man, a great talent, but more importantly a gentle and loving person who treated everyone no matter their title or position with equal respect."
"He touched so many of us over the years with his humor, his warmth and his humility. Our hearts go out to his wife and children during this terrible time. He will be deeply missed by all of us." Gandolfini was working on HBO's crime drama pilot "Criminal Justice", which was expected to be his TV comeback.
Joseph R. Gannascoli, his co-star on "The Sopranos", told TMZ, "James is one guy who never turned his back on me. He was the most humble and gifted actor and person I have ever worked with. He was a great man and I will forever be indebted to him."
Other fellow celebrities have flooded Twitter with messages to express their grief. Olivia Wilde wrote, "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." Steve Carell tweeted, "James Gandolfini. Unbelievably sad news. A fine man."
Jonah Hill admitted, "I'm truly heartbroken to hear that James Gandolfini has passed away. He is one of my all time favorite actors. Tragic loss," while Christina Applegate posted on her Twitter, "I am so deeply saddened by the untimely passing of sweet James Gandolfini! My heart is broken for his family!! I'm in shock."
Calling Gandolfini "a gentle giant and great man," Rose McGowan wrote, "I am heartbroken about James Gandolfini." She also shared a picture of her with the actor, captioning it with, "I love this picture, I loved him."
Jimmy Kimmel said, "I'm sadder about James Gandolfini than everyone else," Jeff Daniels simply stated, "RIP James Gandolfini. A great friend," while Rainn Wilson tweeted, "Arrivederci, James Gandolfini. You were one of the great greats. We'll miss your dangerous, big heart. #RIPGandolfini." Screenwriter Damon Lindelof added, "James Gandolfini. You created an icon. And you cut to black way too abruptly. Thank you, and rest in peace."