Wednesday, June 19, 2013

ALL DUE RESPECT: Multiple outlets are reporting that actor James Gandolfini has passed away at age 51 while on vacation in Italy.

The Sopranos would not have transformed television without his iconic leading performance—menacing, joking, sometimes tortured, sometimes gleeful, usually cocky, always complicated and fully human. Gandolfini made you understand why others saw him as a leader, why Carmella could never break away from that life, and the toll that life took on him. It seems like an impossible acting task, making an audience feel empathy for a brutal mobster, and yet he pulled it off. What a terrible loss.


  1. Joseph Finn8:49 PM

    God. And so, so many good movie performances.

  2. Maggie9:23 PM

    He has a small role in it, but he is fantastic in "In the Loop", which is probably my favorite movie of all time. For some reason, this has really hit me - and I don't even love the Sopranos.

  3. A couple of years into watching the Sopranos, I was rewatching "Get Shorty" and was gobsmacked to realize Tony Soprano was the gentle soft-spoken Bear.

    He is, indeed, brilliant in "In the Loop," and I also loved him in "The Man Who Wasn't There."

  4. Heather Powell10:36 PM

    I am unreasonably sad about this.

  5. Eric J.12:55 AM

    Whataya gonna do? RIP

  6. Tosy and Cosh9:08 AM

    Has anyone cut together a 10-minute version of Where the Wild Things Are that hews closely to the book? Because I'd like a better vehicle to revisit his great performance in that.

  7. Marsha11:07 AM

  8. andrewraff11:52 AM

    He was 51? Which means that he was only 37 when The Sopranos premiered in 1999?

    Matt Zoller Seitz's article at NYMag is great:

    The thing about his performance as Tony Soprano, was that JG was so charming and expressive on the screen, that the audience was able to emphasize and sympathize with Tony, even as Tony did horrible things, was a terrible person. Gandolfini's performance allowed Chase and the writers to push Tony into a far worse or darker place than just about any other actor could have allowed the character to go without completely losing the audience.