Former "Sopranos" star JAMES GANDOLFINI passed away suddenly yesterday, after reportedly suffering a massive heart attack in Italy. He was 51. Sadly, when he died, James was in the middle of a father-son trip to Italy with his teenage son Michael, who had just graduated eighth grade. They were really tight, and were "regulars" at L.A. Kings hockey games.
Michael was his son with his first wife Marcy. She immediately flew to Italy after hearing of his death. James is also survived by his second wife Deborah, who he married in 2008. Just last October, they had a baby girl.There aren't many details on what happened . . . and it's unclear if he'd been suffering from any health problems before the heart attack. James' assistant said he'd just had "a beautiful day out" with his family . . . and, quote, "When they got back to the hotel, [he] went to use the restroom.
"And something happened in there . . . His sister said he was alive when they took him out in the ambulance, on the way to the hospital." James didn't really break into acting until 1999, when he scored the role of Tony Soprano. He won three Emmys for it, and was nominated six times. Before that, he made ends meet as a bartender and a club manager.
He did have some notable small roles earlier in the '90s, in movies like "True Romance", "Crimson Tide", "Get Shorty", "The Juror" and "A Civil Action". After "The Sopranos" ended in 2007, he had some bigger roles in movies like "The Taking of Pelham 123" and "Zero Dark Thirty", and he provided the voice of Carol in "Where the Wild Things Are".