The sudden death of the 51-year-old star, best known for his role in the TV series The Sopranos, has shocked both fans and the fraternity. But James Gandolfini has left nothing less than a legacy behind.
From starting off as a mere orderly in the 1987 film Shock! Shock! Shock!, Gandolfini came a long way to his more recent roles in films like Zero Dark Thirty and Killing Them Softly.
The actor was last seen in the Jim Carrey-Steve Carrell starrer The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. And two of his films: Animal Rescue, Untitled Nicole Holofcener Project are yet to release. Gandolfini was also working on the HBO TV series Criminal Justice, in which he stars as Jack Stone.
Tony Soprano in the TV series
James Gandolfini won three Emmy Awards for his indelible role as mob boss Tony Soprano in HBO's The Sopranos. While Tony Soprano was a larger-than-life figure, Gandolfini was exceptionally modest and obsessive. HBO called the actor 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."
Tony, still the Boss
Sopranos, The Final Scene
Gandolfini's performance in The Sopranos was career-making, but he worked steadily in film and on stage after the series ended.
Gandolfini earned a 2009 Tony Award nomination for his role in the celebrated production of God of Carnage. He played Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in the Osama bin Laden hunt docudrama Zero Dark Thirty. Here are some images that celebrate Gandolfini's career.
Gandolfini played a tough guy in Tony Scott's 1993 film, True Romance, who beat Patricia Arquette's character to a pulp while offering jarring, flirtatious banter. It was True Romance that piqued the interest of Sopranos creator Chase.
Virgil in True Romance (1993)
Kiefer in She's So Lovely (1997)
In his 2012 AP interview, Gandolfini said he gravitated to acting as a release, a way to get rid of anger. "I don't know what exactly I was angry about," he said.
"I try to avoid certain things and certain kinds of violence at this point," he said last year. "I'm getting older, too. I don't want to be beating people up as much. I don't want to be beating women up and those kinds of things that much anymore." Nick Murder in Romance & Cigarettes (2005)
Carol (voice) Where the Wild Things Are (2009)
Lt. Gen. George Miller in In the Loop (2009)
Mickey in Killing Them Softly
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James Gandolfini In The Actors Studio
(With inputs from AP)