Actor James Gandolfini, who became well-known as mob boss Tony Soprano on the hit HBO drama “The Sopranos,” has died of a possible heart attack. According to HBO, the actor was vacationing in Rome; some reports say he was in Sicily to attend the 59th Taormina Film Festival. Gandolfini had appeared in numerous films before landing the role of Soprano, but won critical acclaim and three Emmy Awards and three Screen Actors Guild awards for the role, which he played from 1999-2007 on the groundbreaking show. He was age 51.
UPDATED: Reportedly, at the time of his death, James and his teenage son, Michael, were having a guy’s trip, along with his new wife Deborah Lin and their new 8 month old daughter. TMZ reports that the actor was spending some quality time with Michael (who had just graduated 8th grade) and then attending the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily. James’ first wife Marcy Wudarski (Michael’s mother) immediately flew to Italy on Wednesday to be with her son after she was told James had died. His body was transferred to a hospital morgue in Rome early Thursday, where it awaits an autopsy. No additional details have been released.