James Gandolfini Dies: 'Sopranos' Co-Stars and More Celebs React to Actor's Death
FILE - This undated publicity photo, released by HBO, shows actor James Gandolfini in his role as Tony Soprano, head of the New Jersey crime family portrayed in HBO's "The Sopranos." HBO and the managers for Gandolfini say the actor died Wednesday, June 19, 2013, in Italy. He was 51. (AP Photo/HBO, Barry Wetcher, File)
Hollywood suffered a huge loss with the sudden passing of James Gandolfini on Wednesday at the age of 51. Gandolfini's managers Mark Armstrong and Nancy Sanders confirmed his death saying, "It is with immense sorrow that we report our client James Gandolfini passed away today while on holiday in Rome, Italy."
"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," said "Sopranos" creator David Chase. "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 and Michael and Liliana 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."
[Related: Why We Loved Tony Soprano]
Gandolfini's "Sopranos" co-stars shared their grief:
Edie Falco (Carmela Soprano): "I am shocked and devastated by Jim's passing. He was a man of tremendous depth and sensitivity, with a kindness and generosity beyond words. I consider myself very lucky to have spent 10 years as his close colleague. My heart goes out to his family." Falco continues saying she will "hold on to the memories of our intense and beautiful time together. The love between Tony and Carmela was one of the greatest I've ever known."
Jamie Lynn Sigler (Meadow Soprano): "This news has left me heartbroken. I can only imagine the pain his family feels at this time, and my heart goes out to them, especially Deborah, Michael, and Liliana. I spent 10 years of my life studying and admiring one of the most brilliant actors, yes, but more importantly one of the greatest men. Jim had the ability, unbeknownst to him, to make you feel like everything would be alright if he was around. I treasure my memories with him and feel so honored that I was an up close witness to his greatness."
Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti): "Jimmy treated us all like family with a generosity, loyalty, and compassion that is rare in this world.. Working with him was a pleasure and a privilege. I will be forever grateful having had a friend the likes of Jimmy."
Lorraine Bracco (Dr. Jennifer Melfi): "We lost a giant today. I am utterly heartbroken."
Tony Sirico (Paulie Gualtieri): "He was one of my best friends in life. He helped me with my career and I'm going to miss him. He's part of my family."
Steven Schirripa (Bobby Baccalieri): "Jimmy was a dear friend and like a brother to me. He was a great actor and a great father. I will miss him terribly. I am very sad."
Joseph R. Gannascoli (Vito Spatafore): "I will be forever indebted to Jimmy."
Steven Van Zandt (Silvio Dante): "I have lost a brother and a best friend. The world has lost one of the greatest actors of all time. [My wife] Maureen and I send our deepest sympathy and love to Deborah, Michael, Lily, and all of Jimmy's family."
Since the shocking and devastating news of his death broke, celebrities have taken to Twitter to share their memories and sorrow. Below are some of the most notable reactions so far. We'll continue to update as more come in.
So sad to lose James Gandolfini. One of the sweetest, funniest, most generous actors I’ve ever worked with. Sending prayers to his family.— Susan Sarandon (@SusanSarandon) June 20, 2013
James Gandolfini. Unbelievably sad news. A fine man.— Steve Carell (@SteveCarell) June 20, 2013
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.— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) June 19, 2013
So saddened by news of James Gandolfini's death. What talent. He shall be missed.— Will Arnett™ (@arnettwill) June 20, 2013
Jesus. The world just lost one of its great actors. James Gandolfini has passed away. Thoughts to his family. Such a talent. I'm saddened.— Ewan McGregor (@mcgregor_ewan) June 20, 2013
RIP James Gandolfini. So sad!!— octavia spencer (@octaviaspencer) June 20, 2013
James Gandolfini. This is a tremendous loss. A brilliant actor and a wonderful man. Our deepest sympathies to his family. Devastating.— Michael Chiklis (@MichaelChiklis) June 20, 2013
Speechless.James Gandolfini.Really sad...Hug the kids.— Katey Sagal (@Kateylous) June 20, 2013
Heartbreaking news about James Gandolfini... Shocking. HUGE loss. Kind, humble, and a Singular Talent.Rest in Peace.— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) June 20, 2013
I'm heartbroken to hear that James Gandolfini died..my prayers go out to his family. #Sopranos— Patricia Heaton (@PatriciaHeaton) June 20, 2013
RIP James Gandolfini. A great friend.— Jeff Daniels (@Jeff_Daniels) June 19, 2013
Rest in peace James Gandolfini. It was a pleasure working with and getting to know you. You will be remembered.— Steven McQueen (@McQueeninchains) June 19, 2013
I'm sadder about James Gandolfini than everyone else.— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) June 20, 2013
I am so deeply saddened by the untimely passing of sweet James Gandolfini! My heart is broken for his family!! I'm in shock— christina applegate (@1capplegate) June 19, 2013
James Gandoldini gave the greatest performance in the history of television. He was also a kind man. Condolences to his family.— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) June 20, 2013
James Gandolfini gave us a character and performance that will stand the test of time. Whether he intended too or not. That's what happened— Jerry Ferrara (@jerrycferrara) June 20, 2013
RIP James Gandolfini! Your iconic portrayal of mob boss Tony Soprano gave soul to a monster and fostered perverse pride in the Garden State!— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) June 19, 2013
Bada BULLSHIT. G'bye, Gandolfini. This sucks.— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) June 19, 2013
Farewell to the great American actor James Gandolfini. I was a huge fan. My condolences to his family and his many fans.— Wes Craven (@wescraven) June 19, 2013
Arrivederci, James Gandolfini. You were one of the great greats. We'll miss your dangerous, big heart. #RIPGandolfini— RainnWilson (@rainnwilson) June 19, 2013
Just read about James Gandolfini.. Never met him but what a damn good actor. Gone way to soon. Rip brother.. #prayers— Josh Henderson (@joshhenderson) June 19, 2013
I'm truly heartbroken to hear that James Gandolfini has passed away. He is one of my all time favorite actors. Tragic loss.— Jonah Hill (@JonahHill) June 19, 2013
My thoughts and prayers go out to James Gandolfini's family. An extraordinary actor. RIP, Mr. Gandolfini.— Robin Williams (@robinwilliams) June 20, 2013
Rest in peace, Mr. Gandolfini.— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) June 19, 2013
So sad to hear about James Gandolfini. He was such an amazing actor and by all accounts a wonderful person. RIP.— Busy Philipps (@Busyphilipps25) June 19, 2013
NO. Not James Gandolfini. He was in my top 5 favorite actors EVER. :(— Kristin Chenoweth (@KChenoweth) June 20, 2013
RIP James Gandolfini, one of the nicest guys I've ever met— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) June 20, 2013
so incredibly sad.... RIP James Gandolfini ... your work inspired and entertained... so incredibly sad.— Julie Benz (@juliebenz) June 19, 2013
RIP James Gandolfini. A startling and tragic loss. http://t.co/mVncX2mpzG— Aisha Tyler (@aishatyler) June 20, 2013
Chili Palmer: You any good? Bear: Am I any good? You were DAMN good Mr. Gandolfini and will be sorely missed. R.I.P.— John Stamos (@JohnStamos) June 20, 2013
RIP James Gandolfini. A man with a massive talent who created one of the most iconic characters to ever grace our TV screens. Gone too soon.— Lou Diamond Phillips (@LouDPhillips) June 20, 2013
awful awful news. James Gandolfini will be missed. He was a great actor. Just great.— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) June 20, 2013
RIP James Gandolfini .... An amazing actor. Beyond shocked.— Shane West (@shanewest_1) June 19, 2013
http://t.co/td9DdRnODW SO SAD! PRAYING FOR HIS FAMILY- wow- Shocked by this news today....— Carson Daly (@CarsonDaly) June 19, 2013
James Gandolfini on "Inside The Actors Studio": one of the most inspiring interviews about acting I have ever seen. http://t.co/mNeUqzw8E6— B.J. Novak (@bjnovak) June 20, 2013
Awful, awful news. RIP James Gandolfini. We will miss you— MichaelRaymond-James (@MRaymondJames) June 19, 2013
James Gandolfini was a great guy. Better actor. I'm sorry for his family.— Tom Arnold (@TomArnold) June 19, 2013
Thank you James Gandolfini for some of the most brilliant tv moments of all time. So sad!!!— josh groban (@joshgroban) June 19, 2013
Damn.RIP James Gandofini.An amazing actor that made arguably the greatest drama of all time, & a funny, sweet, gentle giant off screen.— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) June 20, 2013
Just saw the news and what a loss! #RIP James Gandolfini— Melissa Joan Hart (@MelissaJoanHart) June 20, 2013
RIP James Gandolfini...51 yrs old. So sad.— Wayne Brady (@waynebrady) June 19, 2013
Just heard TV icon James Gandolfini has died. I'm shocked. I'm sad. I loved his work. My heart goes out to his family.— Bethenny Frankel (@Bethenny) June 20, 2013
Husband informed me that #JamesGandolfini just passed,In Italy.Im devastated My condolences 2 his family&friends.He passed in his motherland— Debi Mazar (@debimazar) June 19, 2013
Had the pleasure of seeing the funny, powerful, incredibly talented James Gandolfini on stage in "God of Carnage." He'll be truly missed.— Rachelle Lefevre (@RachelleLefevre) June 20, 2013
I am shattered by the news of the loss of my longtime hero and new friend, James Gandolfini. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.— Brian Baumgartner (@BBBaumgartner) June 20, 2013
Christopher's intervention. THANK YOU JAMES GANDOLFINI http://t.co/DtIWGbZ8aL— Ike Barinholtz (@ikebarinholtz) June 20, 2013
Gandolfini!! NO!!!!! #RIPJamesGandolfini— Jason London (@JasonPLondon) June 19, 2013
So so so sad about James Gandolfini - 51 is way too young.— Lance Bass (@LanceBass) June 19, 2013
Life is way too short & precious. So sad to hear of James Gandolfini passing 2day. Prayers for him & his loved ones. So sad at young 51— Brooke Burke-Charvet (@brookeburke) June 19, 2013
R I p tony saprano— Howie Mandel (@howiemandel) June 19, 2013
So sad to hear about James Gandolfini. RIP— Lucy Hale (@lucyhale) June 19, 2013
Not tony soprano! Damn. Such a good guy and a great actor. James, rest in peace... http://t.co/TpfJNywu8X— Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH) June 19, 2013
Wow . Gandolfini one of the best ever . TERRIBLE!!!— Vinny Guadagnino (@VINNYGUADAGNINO) June 20, 2013
In tears over James gandolfinis passing.... Wow speechless— JWOWW (@JENNIWOWW) June 19, 2013
Very sad news about Gandolfini. His iconic performance changed the way I looked at cable television and what was possible. #RIPGandolfini— Eli Roth (@eliroth) June 20, 2013
james gandolfini--so sadwhat an incredible actor.more loss.be good to each other.it's all so short— GAVIN ROSSDALE (@GavinRossdale) June 20, 2013
So sad to hear about James Gandolfini. My thoughts & prayers are with his wife & kids.— Teresa Giudice (@Teresa_Giudice) June 20, 2013
RIP James Gandolfini. Such a tragedy. You will be greatly missed.— Sam Huntington (@SammyHuntington) June 19, 2013
I am heartbroken about James Gandolfini. He was a gentle giant and great man. I love this picture, I loved him. pic.twitter.com/Y1wdbeUDfK— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) June 19, 2013
Our entire cast & crew mourn the tragic passing of the great James Gandolfini. Our thoughts are with his family, friends & fans.— Veronica Mars (@veronicamars) June 20, 2013
See photos from "The Sopranos":