James Gandolfini died today at the age of 51 in Italy. He was most famous for his iconic role of mobster Tony Soprano in the long running HBO hit The Sopranos. He was recently seen as the CIA boss in the movie Zero Dark Thirty.
Gandolfini, who visibly gained weight during his years portraying the burly, aging mobster, reportedly suffered heart attack symptoms while on vacation in Italy.
As somebody who spends a fair amount of time in the Northern NJ area, let me say that the local response to Gandolfini’s death has been awe-inspiring. He has become something of a local hero up here, and everybody is sharing their stories about how they lived next to his grandparents while he was growing up and saw him in diapers etc.