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Sopranos star James Gandolfini dies at 51

The star of ‘The Sopranos’ collapsed and died while in Italy.

James Gandolfini in 2007
James Gandolfini in 2007
Image: AP Photo/Stephen Chernin

ACTOR JAMES GANDOLFINI has died at the age of 51.

The star of ‘The Sopranos’ -  widely considered to be one of the greatest television programmes ever made – collapsed and died while in Italy.

“It is with immense sorrow that we report our client James Gandolfini passed away today while on holiday in Rome, Italy,” his managers, Mark Armstrong and Nancy Sanders, said in a statement. “Our hearts are shattered and we will miss him deeply.

HBO, the channel which made ‘The Sopranos’, described him as a ‘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’.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that the 51-year-old died of a heart attack.

Gandolfini won a Golden Globe and three Emmy awards for his portrayal of Tony Soprano, the flawed anti-hero New Jersey mob boss trying to deal with the demands of his home life and his work. The show ran between 1999 and 2007, and Gandolfini’s performance as the introspective, charismatic and volatile Tony was seen as the linchpin of the groundbreaking programme.

He also appeared in films including True Romance, Get ShortyTerminal VelocityThe JurorThe Mexican, and most recently Zero Dark Thirty.

He is survived by his wife, Deborah Lin, a son and a baby daughter.

(monchochocopete/YouTube)

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