July 05, 2013 08:21:26 GMT
Doug Katz, who has a 12-year-old autistic son, says the late 'Sopranos' actor was always generous with his son, Andrew.
James Gandolfini's generosity continues to show even after his passing. It was recently revealed that the actor left $50,000 to college friend Doug Katz in his will and Katz has nothing but praises for Gandolfini.
"I was shocked," Katz tells New York Post about his reaction when learning the gift. However, it's not unusual considering the fact that Gandolfini always acted like a "guardian angel" to Katz's 12-year-old autistic son, Andrew, during his life.
"He got him nutritional supplements, anything Andrew needed to help him lead a better life. Jim sponsored gymnastics for my son," says Katz, who once shared a room with the Tony Soprano of "The Sopranos". "He always said, 'How can we help? How can we make it better?' And none of it was lip service."
"Every summer, we'd go down to his [Jersey Shore] beach house," he goes on sharing. "Jim would always take Andrew to do something. I never had to worry because the beach was a safe house. We'd go down and just have a good time."
Katz, who plans to put the money Gandolfini left him in a trust for Andrew, adds, "I'd rather have Jim alive than his money. You could never meet a nicer guy in the world. He was the glue that kept us together."
Gandolfini died of a heart attack on June 16 at the age of 51 during a vacation with his teen son in Italy. He is estimated to be worth up to $70 million. In his last will, he left majority of his estate to Mike, his 13-year-old son from his first marriage.