Actor James Gandolfini, who made Tony Soprano a worldwide name, has died of a heart attack at the age of 51 while on holiday in Italy.
Gandolfini was born in Westwood, New Jersey in 1961. After a series of temporary and odd jobs while perfecting his craft in New York theatre, he made his first Broadway appearance on stage in the 1992, in A Streetcar Named Desire alongside Jessica Lange and Alec Baldwin.
His subsequent films included an uncredited role in The Last Boy Scout, Terminal Velocity, True Romance, Get Shorty, The Mexican, Killing Them Softly, The Man Who Wasn't There, Not Fade Away and most recently, the Oscar winning Zero Dark Thirty.
Stage was his first love with an amazing Broadway performance on Broadway in God of Carnage co-starring Jeff Daniels and Marcia Gay Harden, but it was television that put him on the map, with HBO's The Sopranos. It was a role that an actor gets once in a lifetime, one that he was born to play.
Our hearts and thoughts go out to his friends and family.
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