After the saddening news of the passing of actor James Gandolfini yesterday, it is only fitting to reflect on the actor's vast resume of hard-hitting dramatic work. Without question, the role Gandolfini will most be remembered for is that of Tony Soprano on HBO's "The Sopranos." Several of the cast and crew from the acclaimed series sang the praises of the actor following news of his untimely death.
Lorraine Bracco, who shared many memorable scenes as the beleaguered Tony as his therapist Dr. Melfi, said of her acting partner, "I had the greatest sparring partner in the world, I had Muhammad Ali. He cares what he does, and does it extremely well."
"I have lost a brother and a best friend. The world has lost one of the greatest actors of all time," added Steven Van Zandt, who played right hand man Silvio on the series.
"He is one of the greatest actors of this or any time. A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes. I remember telling him many times, 'You don’t get it. You’re like Mozart.' There would be silence at the other end of the phone..." said "The Sopranos" creator David Chase. "He wasn’t easy sometimes. But he was my partner, he was my brother in ways I can’t explain and never will be able to explain."
The diner in which the infamous final scene of the HBO series was filmed also paid tribute to Gandolfini, leaving the table Tony and his family sat at during the closing moments empty on Wednesday night.
Edie Falco, who played Tony's wife Carmela, said of the news of her co-stars death: "I am shocked and devastated by Jim’s passing. He was a man of tremendous depth and sensitivity, with a kindness and generosity beyond words. I consider myself very lucky to have spent 10 years as his close colleague. My heart goes out to his family. As those of us in his pretend one hold on to the memories of our intense and beautiful time together. The love between Tony and Carmela was one of the greatest I’ve ever known."