Happy birthday James Gandolfini!

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James Gandolfini (September 18, 1961—June 19, 2013) was an American actor and producer. He is best remembered for playing the role of Tony Soprano in the hit HBO series The Sopranos.

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Gandolfini was born in Westwood, New Jersey to Santa Gandolfini and James Joseph Gandolfini, Sr. His mother was a lunch lady and his father was a cement mason. He was raised a devout Italian Catholic. He attended Rutgers University, studying communications.

It wasn't until after years of working as a bouncer and a nightclub manager that he became involved in theater. After he accompanied a friend to an acting class, he studied under Kathryn Gately at The Gately Poole Conservatory for two years.

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He made his Broadway debut in 1992 in A Streetcar Named Desire with Jessica Lange and Alec Baldwin. Gandolfini moved to the screen in 1993 with Tony Scott's True Romance. He went on to appear in dozens more films, including Money for Nothing (1993), Angie (1994), Crimson Tide (1995), Get Shorty (1995), and The Juror (1996),.

Gandolfini is perhaps best known for his role as Tony Soprano in the HBO series The Sopranos, in which he plays a mobster. For his performance, he won Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama three times, in 2000, 2001 and 2003.

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While The Sopranos was still on air, he appeared in Surviving Christmas (2004) and All the King's Men (2006). After it ended, he went on to appear in The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009), In the Loop (2009), and lent his voice to Where the Wild Things Are (2009).

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He produced the 2007 documentary Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq, which consisted of interviews with Iraq war veterans. He later produced Wartorn: 1861–2010 (2010) which analyzes the impacts of post-traumatic stress disorder.

 

Some of his last films were Killing Them Softly (2012), Zero Dark Thirty (2012), The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013). He also acted as executive producer on the HBO miniseries Hemingway & Gellhorn (2012). One of Gandolfini's final roles will be in the upcoming film Enough Said (2013).

 

Gandolfini died of a heart attack in Rome, Italy in June, 2013. He was there to accept an award at the Taormina Film Fest.

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Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Thursday, 18 September 2014
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