James Gandolfini died yesterday of an apparent heart attack while vacationing in Italy. He won three Emmys for his role of mob boss Tony Soprano. “The Sopranos” creator David Chase said in a statement, “James Gandolfini 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.” And like all great artists, Chase acknowledged, “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.”
Gandolfini’s costar Steven Schirripa, who played Bobby Baccalieri, said, “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.”
The way “The Sopranos” ended, I could see some kind of continuation, perhaps a movie. But now, that’ll never happen.