Beloved Sopranos actor James Gandolfini has died today. Gandolfini, best known for his role as Tony Soprano, passed away in Italy at the age of 51 from what is believed to have been a heart attack. He has left his wife, Deborah Lin, and two children behind -- a daughter he had with Lin in 2012, and a teenage son from a previous marriage. Wow. Doesn't get much more sad than this.
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Gandolfini was one of the few actors in Hollywood who avoided the spotlight. He rarely gave interviews or appeared on magazine covers, instead choosing to focus on his craft. He won three Emmys and SAG awards for his role as Tony Soprano in The Sopranos, and most recently, he appeared in the Oscar-nominated film, Zero Dark Thirty, in which he played the head of the CIA.
It's always a tragedy when anyone passes away, but something feels just a little more depressing (and shocking) about Gandolfini's death. He was a modest guy who was one hell of an actor. And to think his two kids will grow up without him -- one never knowing him at all -- is enough to break your heart in two.
RIP, Mr. Gandolfini. We were lucky to have you. And you'll always be Tony to us.
Thoughts and prayers to James' family.
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Image via Paul A. Hebert/Getty