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James Gandolfini –

Gandolfini in THE SOPRANOS.

About James Gandolfini (1961 – 2013)

New Jersey-born on September 18, 1961, James Joseph Gandolfini Jr. became a member of an Italian family. His father was James Joseph Gandolfini, Sr. who made a living as a brick-layer and being a head school janitor. His mother, Santa Penna, who worked in a high school as a lunch lady.

James graduated from Park Ridge High School, Park Ridge, New Jersey (1979), and attended Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

James Gandolfini often played rough, volatile thuggish fellows, but charming characters; not the kind of guy you would take home to meet the parents, but you would feel safe walking down the street with.

James didn't decide to be an actor until his mid-twenties. "I dabbled a little bit in acting in high school and then I forgot about it completely. And then at about twenty-five I went to a class. I don't think anybody in my family thought it was an intelligent choice. I don't think anybody thought I'd succeed, which is understandable. I think they were just happy that I was doing something."

James Gandolfini began acting in the New York theater. In his earlier, "struggling actor" days, Gandolfini bar tended in Manhattan and he once worked as a bouncer at an on-campus pub.

James Gandolfini began acting in the New York theater. Gandolfini's Broadway debut was in the 1992 revival of "A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE" with Jessica Lange and Alec Baldwin.

Holding out and waiting for things to pick up definitely paid off for Gandolfini as later he went on to receive a Golden Globe, three-time Emmy and five-time Screen Actors Guild Award.

His breakthrough role was his portrayal of Virgil the hit man in Tony Scott's TRUE ROMANCE (1993).

James is best known for his highly acclaimed role as Tony Soprano in the hit HBO TV series, THE SOPRANOS; (1999), in which he portrays a complex Mafia boss. After reading the script, James shared in an interview about what he thought his chances were in getting the part. "They're gonna hire somebody else. But I knew I could do it. I have small amounts of 'Mr. Soprano' in me. I was 35, a lunatic, a madman."

Gandolfini added the Emmy to his trophies in 2000 for the second season of The Sopranos. He excelled at playing rough tough guys that were also very charming.

Has co-starred with John Travolta in four movies: GET SHORTY; (1995), SHE'S SO LOVELY; (1997), A CIVIL ACTION; (1998), and LONELY HEARTS; (2006).

For the 2001 movie, THE MEXICAN, James lost 40 pounds for his role. However, he had to gain the weight back, because his character, Tony Soprano, was a chunky fellow, and the audience want him to stay that way, according to the show's producers.

James married his first wife, Marcy Gandolfini in March of 1999. They had a son together, Michael. They got a divorce in December of 2002.

Trying marriage again, Gandolfini married his girlfriend, former model Deborah Lin, on August 30, 2008, in her hometown of Honolulu, Hawaii. They had been dating for about two years. They had a little girl, Liliana Ruth on October, 1Oth, 2012.

In 2009, James was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in the stage production of GOD OF CARNAGE.

James died from a heart attack, in Rome, Italy, on June 19, 2013, at the age of 51, just three months shy of his 52nd birthday. He was on a vacation with his son, Michael.

James Gandolfini's notable credits include...

THE MEXICAN (2001) as Winston Baldry
THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE (2001) as Big Dave Brewster
THE LAST CASTLE (2001) as Col. Winter
STORIES OF LOST SOULS (2006) as Vincent
ALL THE KING'S MEN (2006) as Tiny Duffy
LONELY HEARTS (2007) as Charles Hildebrandt
ROMANCE & CIGARETTES (2007) as Nick Murder
KIDDIE RIDE (2008) as Bailey
IN THE LOOP (2009) as US Army General
THE TAKING OF PELHAM 1 2 3 (2009) as The Mayor
WELCOME TO THE RILEYS (2009) as Doug Riley


James Gandolfini in GET SHORTY (1995).




Gandolfini in WELCOME TO THE RILEYS (2010).

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