Wednesday, June 19, 2013

James Gandolfini 1961-2013

Actor James Gandolfini has passed away at the age of 51.
Best known for his role as Tony Soprano in the TV series THE SOPRANOS, Gandolfini also had a very sporadic, yet productive film career. He was best known on the silver screen for his role as a mob henchman in Tony Scott’s TRUE ROMANCE (2003), an enforcer and stuntman in GET SHORTY (1995), and the impulsive “wild thing”, Carol in WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE (2009).

A stocky and gruff man, he was often cast in big-bad-dude roles such as a pornographer in 8MM (1999), and a hard-nosed military man in THE LAST CASTLE (2001). He appeared as a hit-man in last year’s KILLING THEM SOFTLY, and showed his range as the CIA director in the Oscar-nominated ZERO DARK THIRTY.
It was on the small-screen where he found his most success. As the head of a crime family in THE SOPRANOS, Gandolfini showed his range in a difficult role which had him play not only a tough guy, but a dedicated family man. His work on the show earned him a SAG award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor three times. He was also an accomplished producer, having produced two documentaries on the Iraq War.

Playing a mob boss is hard work. Not only do you have to play tough and menacing, but you need to show the depth and dedication these guys have to their way of life, and to their families. Gandolfini’s work on the big and small screen has put him amongst the great names such as James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson, Robert DeNiro, and Marlon Brando. Like his mob characters, Gandolfini was dedicated to his craft, and just may have been one of the last, great tough guys to entertain us.




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