Former "Sopranos" star James Gandolfini has died at the age of 51, HBO confirmed to ABC News on Wednesday, June 19.
Gandolfini died of a possible heart attack, according to ABC News. The actor was vacationing in Rome, Italy, at the time of his death, his personal managers, Mark Armstrong and Nancy Sanders, said in a statement to the news outlet.
"It is with immense sorrow that we report our client James Gandolfini passed away today while on holiday in Rome, Italy. Our hearts are shattered and we will miss him deeply. He and his family were part of our family for many years and we are all grieving," Armstrong and Sanders' statement said.
HBO said in a statement: "We're all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family. He was [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. He touched so many of us over the years with his humor, his warmth and his humility. Our hearts go out to his wife and children during this terrible time. He will be deeply missed by all of us."
David Chase, the creator of "The Sopranos" said about Gandolfini's death in a statement to KABC Television, OTRC.com's parent company:
- "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 Deborah [Gandolfini's wife] and Michael and Liliana [Gandolfini's children] 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."
As word of the actor's death broke, many celebrities shared their reactions on Twitter, including Olivia Wilde, who co-starred with Gandolfini in the 2013 film "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone."
"James Gandolfini was a kind, funny, wonderful guy. I"m so lucky to have worked with him. Sending love to his family. Such a sad, sad day," Wilde Tweeted on Wednesday.
The New Jersey-born actor recently appeared in the Oscar-nominated film "Zero Dark Thirty." Variety reported that he was working in the upcoming film "Animal Rescue" with Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace.
Gandolfini won three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe for his role as mob boss Tony Soprano, which he played for six seasons from 1999 to 2007. The actor also had notable roles in films like "True Romance," "Get Shorty," "Crimson Tide" and "The Man Who Wasn't There."
He is survived by his wife, Deborah Lin, a son from a previous marriage and a baby daughter named Liliana Ruth, who was born in October 2012, according to ABC News.