James Gandolfini Dead: 'Tony Soprano' Actor Dies In Italy, Aged 51

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UPDATE - 21/6/13: Official autopsy results are expected on Friday for 'Sopranos' star James Gandolfini, who died of an apparent heart attack while on holiday in Italy.

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James Gandolfini, the US actor famous for playing Tony Soprano in HBO series 'The Sopranos', has died aged 51.

He is believed to have passed away after a heart attack whilst on holiday in Rome, and was in Europe for a film festival in Sicily.

"We're all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family," HBO said in a statement to The Huffington Post.

"He was special man, a great talent, but more importantly a gentle and loving person who treated everyone no matter their title or position with equal respect. He touched so many of us over the years with his humor, his warmth and his humility. Our hearts go out to his wife and children during this terrible time. He will be deeply missed by all of us."

james gandolfini

James Galdofini died aged 51

Gandolfini played Tony Soprano in the groundbreaking series that aired from 1999 to 2007, winning three Emmy awards and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of the conflicted mob boss who was both brutal and emotionally delicate.

After the series concluded with an ending that left viewers guessing, Gandolfini's varied film work also took in comedy, with Armando Ianucci's political satire 'In The Loop', and voiceover as the Wild Thing Carol in 'Where the Wild Things Are'.

His film credits included 'Zero Dark Thirty' and 'Killing Them Softly', and he also shared a Broadway stage in 2009 with Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis and Marcia Gay Harden in the celebrated production of 'God Of Carnage', for which he earned a Tony Award nomination for best actor. He also was in 'On the Waterfront' with David Morse.

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