James Gandolfini Dead: Sopranos Creator, Co-Stars React to Star’s Tragic Death


By Shari Weiss


James Gandolfini’s “The Sopranos” co-stars are releasing statements reacting to their longtime colleague and friend’s tragic death. The Emmy-winning actor died on Wednesday after suffering a suspected heart attack while vacationing in Rome, Italy.

In addition to dozens of celebrities taking to Twitter to share their condolences, a number of former colleagues are sharing their memories, reflections, and, of course, their sadness. Check out statements from “Sopranos” creator David Chase and more below, and come back later for additional comments.

DAVID CHASE, Creator of “The Sopranos”

“He was a genius. Anyone who saw him even in the smallest of his performances knows that. He is one of the greatest actors of this or any time. A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes. I remember telling him many times, ‘You don’t get it. You’re like Mozart.’ There would be silence at the other end of the phone. For [his wife Deborah Lin] and [children] Michael and Liliana this is crushing. And it’s bad for the rest of the world. He wasn’t easy sometimes. But he was my partner, he was my brother in ways I can’t explain and never will be able to explain.”

BRAD GREY, Executive Producer of “The Sopranos”

“Jimmy was one of the most talented, authentic and vulnerable actors of our time. He was unorthodox and truly special in so many ways. He had the sex appeal of Steve McQueen or Brando in his prime as well as the comedic genius of Jackie Gleason. I’m proud to have been his friend and grateful for the extraordinary years I was lucky enough to work with him. My heart and support goes out to his wonderful and loving family.”

TERENCE WINTER, Executive Producer of “The Sopranos”

“I’m truly crushed at the passing of my friend Jim Gandolfini. He was a gifted, fearless actor, respectful of everyone he met, and extraordinarily generous in every possible way. My heart goes out to his wife and children.”

EDIE FALCO, Carmela Soprano on “The Sopranos”

I am shocked and devastated by Jim’s passing. He was a man of tremendous depth and sensitivity, with a kindness and generosity beyond words. I consider myself very lucky to have spent 10 years as his close colleague. My heart goes out to his family. As those of us in his pretend one hold on to the memories of our intense and beautiful time together. The love between Tony and Carmela was one of the greatest I’ve ever known.

JAMIIE-LYNN SIGLER, Meadow Soprano on “The Sopranos”

“This news has left me heartbroken. I can only imagine the pain his family feels at this time, and my heart goes out to them, especially Deborah, Michael, and Liliana. I spent 10 years of my life studying and admiring one of the most brilliant actors, yes, but more importantly, one of the greatest men. Jim had the ability, unbeknownst to him, to make you feel like everything would be alright if he was around. I treasure my memories with him and feel so honored that I was an up close witness to his greatness.”

LORRAINE BRACCO, Dr. Melfi on “The Sopranos”

“We lost a giant today. I am utterly heartbroken.”

MICHAEL IMPERIOLI, Christopher Moltisanti on “The Sopranos”

“Jimmy treated us all like family with a generosity, loyalty and compassion that is rare in this world. Working with him was a pleasure and a privilege. I will be forever grateful having had a friend the likes of Jimmy.”

STEVE SCHIRRIPA, Bobby Baccalieri on “The Sopranos”

“Jimmy was a dear friend and like a brother to me. He was a great actor and a great father. I will miss him terribly. I am very sad.”

TONY SIRICO, Paulie Gualtieri on “The Sopranos”

“He was one of my best friends in life. He helped me with my career and I’m going to miss him. He’s part of my family.”

STEVEN VAN ZANDT, Silvio Dante on “The Sopranos”

“I have lost a brother and a best friend. The world has lost one of the greatest actors of all time. Maureen and I send our deepest sympathy and love to Deborah, Michael, Lily, and all of Jimmy’s family.”

AIDA TURTURRO, Janice Sopranice on “The Sopranos”

“I’ve not only lost a great friend, but a true brother, on screen and off,” she said. “James was the most generous actor to work with, but more so, a man with a heart of gold. I love him and my heart goes out to his family.”

DREA DE MATTEO, Adriana La Cerva on “The Sopranos”

“Fughedabout losing one of the best actors of our time… we lost so much more. Anyone from the Soprano family will tell you he was one of the most generous, real and humble human beings ever…with a presence that could shatter planets when he walked into a room. A King through n through. So very sorry for his family.”

CHRIS ALBRECHT, Former CEO and Chairman of HBO

“Jimmy was the spiritual core of our Sopranos family, and I am stunned at this devastating loss. He was a great talent, but an even better man. My thoughts are with his family.”

JOURNEY, Band featured on “Sopranos”

“It’s truly an honor to have been able to share one of the greatest moments ever in TV history with James Gandolfini. He was an amazing actor — taken way too young — and he’ll be missed. Our condolences go out to his family.”

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