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James Gandolfini

James Gandolfini

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Also Known As: James Roberto Gandolfini Died: June 19, 2013
Born: September 18, 1961 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Westwood, New Jersey, USA Profession: actor, executive producer, delivery truck driver (for Gimme Seltzer), nightclub manager, bouncer, bartender

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

An unlikely leading man and even more unlikely sex symbol, James Gandolfini was touted as both after his star-making portrayal of mobster Tony Soprano, a family man undergoing a mid-life crisis on the hit HBO drama, "The Sopranos" (1999-2007). Although he came to an acting career later in life, he was already a well-respected character player with roles as a hitman in "True Romance" (1993), a bearded stuntman and low-level henchman in "Get Shorty" (1995), and a drunkenly abusive neighbor in "She's So Lovely" (1997). Gandolfini made his television debut as Juror #6 in the remake of "12 Angry Men" (Showtime, 1997), while landing supporting roles in high-profile films like "A Civil Action" (1998) and "8mm" (1999). But it was "The Sopranos" that truly launched his career and led to a wider range of leading roles, like playing a sensitive hitman in "The Mexican" (2001), a cheating husband in "The Man Who Wasn't There" (2001) and reprising his "Get Shorty" role for "Be Cool" (2005). When "The Sopranos" went off the air with a literal bang in 2007, Gandolfini opened up to a bigger range of projects: interviewing disabled Iraq War veterans in "Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq" (HBO, 2007), winning a Tony...

An unlikely leading man and even more unlikely sex symbol, James Gandolfini was touted as both after his star-making portrayal of mobster Tony Soprano, a family man undergoing a mid-life crisis on the hit HBO drama, "The Sopranos" (1999-2007). Although he came to an acting career later in life, he was already a well-respected character player with roles as a hitman in "True Romance" (1993), a bearded stuntman and low-level henchman in "Get Shorty" (1995), and a drunkenly abusive neighbor in "She's So Lovely" (1997). Gandolfini made his television debut as Juror #6 in the remake of "12 Angry Men" (Showtime, 1997), while landing supporting roles in high-profile films like "A Civil Action" (1998) and "8mm" (1999). But it was "The Sopranos" that truly launched his career and led to a wider range of leading roles, like playing a sensitive hitman in "The Mexican" (2001), a cheating husband in "The Man Who Wasn't There" (2001) and reprising his "Get Shorty" role for "Be Cool" (2005). When "The Sopranos" went off the air with a literal bang in 2007, Gandolfini opened up to a bigger range of projects: interviewing disabled Iraq War veterans in "Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq" (HBO, 2007), winning a Tony for his performance in "God of Carnage" (2009) and playing man grieving the loss of his daughter in the indie drama "Welcome to the Rileys" (2010), which underscored Gandolfini's skill in a wide range of mediums. He died unexpectedly in 2013 at only 51 years of age.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Animal Rescue (2014)
2.
 Nicky Deuce (2013)
4.
 Enough Said (2013)
5.
6.
 Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
7.
 Cinema Verite (2011)
8.
 Down the Shore (2011)
9.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born and raised in New Jersey
:
Worked various jobs, including as a bouncer, nightclub manager and truck driver
:
Taken by a friend to an acting class in the late 1980s
:
Stage acting debut in "Big El's Best Friend"
:
Acted in off-off- and off-Broadway productions
1992:
Broadway debut playing Steve Hubbell in the revival of "A Streetcar Named Desire," also starring Alec Baldwin and Jessica Lange
1992:
Film debut, "A Stranger Among Us"; first collaboration with Sidney Lumet
1993:
Breakthrough film role as the hitman Virgil in "True Romance," directed by Tony Scott
1993:
Cast as John Cusack's brother in "Money for Nothing"
1994:
First leading role, as the title character's plumber beau in "Angie" opposite Geena Davis
1995:
Returned to Broadway as Charley Malloy in the ill-fated stage adaptation of "On the Waterfront"
1995:
Played a stuntman in "Get Shorty" opposite John Travolta
1995:
Cast as the supply officer in Tony Scott's "Crimson Tide"
1996:
Supported Alec Baldwin and Demi Moore in "The Juror"
1997:
Reteamed with Lumet for "Night Falls on Manhattan"
1997:
Delivered a memorable turn as a drunkenly abusive neighbor in "She's So Lovely"
1997:
Featured in the L.A. stage play "Remembrance"; produced by Sean Penn and starring Penn's parents Leo Penn and Eileen Ryan
1997:
TV movie debut as Juror Number 6 in the Showtime remake of "12 Angry Men"
1998:
Featured as a concerned parent in "A Civil Action," starring John Travolta
1999:
Appeared as a pornographer in Joel Schumacher's "8mm"
1999:
Became a bona fide star and unlikely sex symbol as Tony Soprano, a gangster having a midlife crisis on the acclaimed HBO drama "The Sopranos"; received Emmy (1999, 2004, 2007), Golden Globe (2001, 2002, 2003) and SAG (2001, 2002, 2005, 2007) nominations for Best Actor
2001:
Portrayed a hit man with a sensitive side in "The Mexican"
2001:
Played a cheating husband in the Coen brothers' film noir "The Man Who Wasn't There"
2004:
Co-starred with Ben Affleck and Christina Applegate in the comedy "Surviving Christmas"
2005:
Reprised his role in "Be Cool," the sequel to the 1995 hit "Get Shorty"
2005:
Cast opposite Kate Winslet, as a two-timing husband who must choose between his mistress and his beleaguered wife in "Romance & Cigarettes," helmed by John Turturro
2006:
Cast in Steven Zaillian's big-screen adaptation of the Robert Penn Warren novel "All the King's Men"
2007:
Played a homicide detective in "Lonely Hearts," based on the true story the notorious <i>Lonely Hearts Killers</i> of the 1940s
2007:
Executive produced the HBO documentary on the Iraq War "Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq"; the film featured Gandolfini interviewing numerous disabled veterans
2009:
Cast in the Broadway production of Yasmina Reza┬┐s "God of Carnage"; earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Play
2009:
Played a peace-loving general in the political satire "In The Loop"
2009:
Voiced Carol in Spike Jonze's live-action adaptation of Maurice Sendak's children's book "Where the Wild Things Are"
2010:
Played a man dealing with the death of his daughter in "Welcome to the Rileys"
2011:
Portrayed filmmaker Craig Gilbert in HBO drama "Cinema Verite"
2011:
Cast in the feature adaptation of "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"
2012:
Co-starred with Brad Pitt in crime drama "Killing Them Softly," a feature adaptation of George V. Higgins' novel <i>Cogan's Trade</i>
2012:
Played U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in Kathryn Bigelow directed "Zero Dark Thirty," based on the hunt for Osama bin Laden
2012:
Cast in 1960s-set drama "Not Fade Away," written and directed by "The Sopranos" creator David Chase
2013:
Played a billionaire casino owner opposite Jim Carrey and Steve Carell (as dueling magicians) in "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone"; film reunited him with "The Sopranos" co-star Steve Buscemi
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Park Ridge High School: Park Ridge , New Jersey -
Actors Studio: New York , New York -
Rutgers University: New Brunswick , New Jersey - 1983

Notes

His surname should be pronounced "GAN-dol-fi-ni".

Gandolfini plays the trumpet and sax.

"I was a bit wild, but hey, I didn't stab anyone."---Gandolfini on his upbringing, to the London Times, October 1, 2000.

"You go into these TV things always worrying about the kind of egos you're going to encounter, but he just doesn't have one."---"Sopranos" co-star Edie Falco on Gandolfini, quoted in Time, March 22, 1999.

"I think I feel a lot. I never wanted to do business or anything. People interest me, and the way things affect them. And I also have a big, healthy affinity for the middle class and the blue-collar and I don't like the way they're treated and I don't like the way the government is treating them now ... And I think that if I kept it in, it wouldn't have been very good. I would have been fired a lot. So I found this silly way of living that allows me to occasionally stand up for them a little bit. And mostly make some good money and act like a silly fool."---Gandolfini on why he acts, quoted to GQ, December 2004.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Marcy Gandolfini. Former publicist. Met c. 1995; married in 1999; Gandolfini filed for divorce on March 4, 2002; divorce finalized on December 18, 2002.
companion:
Lora Samoza. Director's assistant. Assistant to director Gore Verbinski, who directed "The Mexican"; rumored to have started their romance during taping in Mexico in 2000, still dating as of August 2002; engaged as of January 2004.

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