Remembering James Gandolfini

Actor best known for portrayal of Tony Soprano dead at age 51.
5:26 | 06/19/13

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Transcript for Remembering James Gandolfini
James Gandolfini dead tonight. He was just fifty -- Good evening everyone -- -- -- o'clock I'm -- and I'm -- Dave better in my Gandolfini died suddenly of a heart attack pullout from vacation in Italy. He won three Emmys for his role as Tony Soprano Gandolfini so much more than just of -- -- conflict -- mob boss on TV. He was -- New Jersey native son who also called New York home. Caroling elite has reaction from the garden state but we begin with sandy Kenyon on the -- -- career of james' -- TV. Today -- the guy who created The Sopranos David Chase called him a genius upon learning of his passing. And it's clear James Gandolfini broadened the definition of what -- TV actor could be. And help to make it hip for those in the movies to cross over to television. By playing one character so memorably the actor helped to define the times in which -- -- As Tony Soprano he was a man caught between his mafia family and the demands of his wife and children. So full of turmoil he required a shrink and distorted all out. James Gandolfini stripped from character actor to TV star beginning in 1999. And his reputation as an icon rests -- 86 episodes that -- unforgettable enough to ensure his place in television history. What you Anthony soprano -- old Connie -- As an Italian American native son of Jozy Gandolfini was literally born to play Tony. My father I think he's proud. It wouldn't tell me but I think -- he kicked -- -- small parts for more than a decade before a role as a mob enforcer in true romance. Earned him an audition for the soprano. What -- you look really -- his chemistry with Edie Falco was unique but once Gandolfini found fame he returned to the movies opposite some of the biggest stars in Hollywood. But he remained for ever associated. With the role that won him three -- -- war. Unlike his self centered character the actor was known for giving back to charities in Park Ridge where he grew up. And tonight they -- remembering him there. A local guy who found success on his own terms. By staying true to himself. He never went Hollywood. As the saying goes though James Gandolfini worked there from time to time his death at the age of 51 leaves those close to him shattered in the woods of his manager. And those of us throughout the Tri-State area thinking we've lost one of our own. -- -- -- -- are indeed sandy thank you he leaves behind a wife and two children one just eight months old they are not alone in their morning James Gandolfini a part of the collective fabric of the Tri-State. Born in Westwood New Jersey went to Rutgers University. Had homes in both Manhattan and New Jersey where to send our Carol in the -- for. This part of the store the reaction we -- Bloomfield New Jersey inside that diner where The Sopranos finale was filled. -- -- -- bill this is exactly the spot where the hit series and did tonight there's a reserve sign. Paying respects. To his family. Into the HBO show The Sopranos flocked to hold -- in Bloomfield New Jersey. Within minutes of getting the news that James Gandolfini died. Of an apparent heart attack. This -- the -- ice cream parlor where the series -- Fans exchange stories here about the show that kept them glued to their TV screens for six season. I was completely shocked -- -- in the area around here so have a lot of sentimental feeling about it it was a huge fan of the show. I just -- -- come out here it's taken moment. It was he was a great -- Much of the -- horse in this jam packed restaurant it's Wednesday night about -- series finale well really the final scene -- cut to black. Eyewitness News if -- for the frenzy on the final day of production. It's currently owns -- this says it seemed Gandolfini -- -- was like being a part of history but. Tony was like a real down to -- -- when they -- -- camera wasn't rolling. 190 -- Sheehan for everybody and we had you know we've given it was very nice. -- heat it was in the show that. I was so popular and his character was the so -- and then this place being good. The last place that he shot. Is you know very memorable -- And again memorable because look at the plaque sitting here at the Booth saying it is reserved. For the soprano family tonight governor Chris Christie putting out a statement saying that Gandolfini was a fine actor markers a -- Jersey guy he sent his condolences. To his family. Reporting live in Bloomfield New Jersey on -- lead channel seven Eyewitness News. Carolina thank -- -- he was just such a good man -- It's not just fans remembering Gandolfini his friends in cast mates are as well Steve Van -- who played Silvio on The Sopranos -- this. I have lost a brother a brother in a best friend the world has lost one of the greatest actors of all time. An actress Olivia Wilde treated James -- -- was that kind funny wonderful guy. I'm so lucky to have worked with him sending love to his gambling such a sad sad day.

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