I woke up today to the shocking news that one of my favourite actors of all time, James Gandolfini, has passed away at the age of 51.
James Gandolfini will be remembered best for his role as Tony Soprano, in the hit US TV drama The Soprano’s, which is my favourite TV Show of all time.
I had just finish watching the entire series of The Soprano’s for the 2nd time, after my wife had been persuaded by her fellow psychologist colleagues at work to watch it. It was even better second time round and is a show that I engaged with on many different levels, and which left a significant impact on my life. Violence, mental health issues, psychology, cross-cultural issues, Tony’s obsession with food and love of History all resonated with me. yet the show was brought alive by James Gandolfini’s magical performance as Tony Soprano. He gave the character such depth that you never doubt that he is a fictional character. He also gave the character tremendous breadth. He could be a violent monster one minute, then transform to the funny sad clown in the blink of an eye.
My wife also finished reading the Book “The Psychology of the Sopranos”, lent to her by her boss at work, only last night, and we were talking about it over dinner. It is a strange and sad coincidence.
There will be many more glowing tributes to the great actor, who I also loved in the film In The Loop, so instead of trying to compete with them I will post up links to a variety of articles and obituaries here on this post.
I don’t often think of death, which surprises me as I’m always thinking about too many things at once. I was thinking of it only a few weeks ago when my wife’s 24 year old cousin went missing whilst scuba diving in the Red Sea. He was lost for 24 hours, but luckily survived and was found by a rescue helicopter after his partner was rescued first, and not being spotted by the rescue helicopter that winched up his diving partner, he found the energy to swim to a nearby Island, from which the rescue team finally found him. We all had to face the thought that this young life, so full of promise, may have been taken away, and the relief when we found out he was rescued was all encompassing.
This is my first post of this blog and it is sad that I begin the blog this way, but my admiration for the actor James Gandolfini and the way in which he was a part of my life, in that strange way that fictional characters become entwined with our own real lives, motivated me to finally sign up for this blog and start writing.
- BBC News: James Gandolfini, Sopranos star, dies in Italy aged 51
- The Guardian: That’s me and him from The Sopranos (Armando Iannucci on the making of In the Loop)
- The Guardian: James Gandolfini: master Soprano, dies of suspected heart attack in Italy
- The Guardian: James Gandolfini’s life and career – in pictures
- The Guardian: James Gandolfini death: stars react
- The Guardian: Goodbye, James Gandolfini: How One Man Changed TV
- Empire Movie Magazine: James Gandolfini Dies At 51: Sopranos star suffers heart attack in Italy
- Channel 4 News: Sopranos actor James Gandolfini dies in Rome
- Restaurant where Tony Soprano enjoyed final meal leaves touching tribute to James Gandolfini
- James Gandolfini: Tony Soprano’s 20 best lines