James Gandolfini died yesterday in Italy while on vacation with his 13-year-old son. He was only 51 years old. Though the official cause of death has yet to be released, Gandolfini’s managers said that the actor suffered a major heart attack. An autopsy will reveal if there were other factors involved. ABC reports that Gandolfini’s body is currently in Rome and will returned to the United States once the US Embassy issues a death certificate.
Gandolfini is best known for his lead role on The Sopranos, the groundbreaking show which helped usher in a new era of thoughtful, well-made television. Gandolfini also starred in Zero Dark Thirty, The Man Who Wasn’t There, and Where the Wild Things Are.
In a statement, Sopranos creator David Chase praised Gandolfini for his work. “He was a genius. Anyone who saw him even in the smallest of his performances knows that… A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes.” Our condolences go out to Galdofini’s family and loved ones.[via ABC News]