Shocking breaking news coming over the wires right now that actor James Gandolfini, best known for his portrayal of Tony Soprano on HBO's popular hit show "The Sopranos," has passed away suddenly while in Italy after suffering from a heart attack.
A New Jersey-born character actor who transformed himself into a great actor through his work with David Chase on "The Sopranos" between 1999 and 2007, Gandolfini received three Primetime Emmys as well as a Golden Globe for his portrayal of the popular New Jersey gangster.
Last year, Gandolfini appeared in three very different movies in very different roles, David Chase's Not Fade Away, Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty and Andrew Dominik's Killing Them Softly. He had just finished filming scenes for Animal Rescue in New York as well as the new movie from indie vet Nicole Holofcener.
HBO released the following statement: "We're all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family. 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."