Gone far too young at 51, Gandolfini has meant a great deal to me since I discovered him as a teenage character actor. there isn't much I could say that isn't covered in his episode of Inside the Actor's Studio, embedded below.
He was in Italy on vacation in advance of a planned appearance and masterclass at the Taormina Film Festival. He leaves behind a wife and an infant daughter. He had a pile of projects in the hopper. Deadline's Mike Fleming has written a wonderful piece about his years following and covering Gandolfini.
We've lost a great actor and a good man, based on everything said by anyone I know who worked with him in any capacity.
We've also lost one of the greatest actors to repeatedly work with (and be championed by) Tony Scott.
If you missed Not Fade Away last year, or have never seen The Last Boy Scout, True Romance, Crimson Tide, In the Loop, or especially The Last Castle , you can't go wrong with any of them. If you only know him from The Sopranos , you may not be fully aware of the broad range of nuance and humanity found across his entire filmography. I'm most selfishly sad that I never saw him perform on stage. If there exists a bootleg of him in God of Carnage , I don't have nor know about it.
A tremendously sad, left-field bit of tragedy hit yesterday. The acting world is a dimmer place ever since.