#TaniaOnTheScene - Actor James Gandolfini is dead at 51. He suffered a massive heart attack while on a trip to Italy with his son, Michael.
James Gandolfini, the New Jersey-bred actor whose Mafia-boss character survived six seasons of mob hits and panic attacks on “The Sopranos,” died Wednesday in Italy. He was 51.
The man behind Tony Soprano was with his teenage son, Michael, 13, when he suffered a massive heart attack, a source close to the barrel-chested actor said.
Gandolfini and his family had spent “a beautiful day out together,” the actor’s assistant, Tom Richardson, told friend Mike Sullivan on Wednesday.
“When they got back to the hotel, Jimmy 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,” Richardson said, according to Sullivan, a close pal of “Sopranos” actor Tony Sirico.
The news floored Gandolfini’s friends, fellow actors and “Sopranos” co-stars, including Steve Schirripa, who was in a box suite at Yankee Stadium when word reached him by phone. The color drained from Schirripa’s face and uncertainty reigned for a half-hour as he and other “Sopranos” cast members, like Lorraine Bracco and Steve Van Zandt called each other, desperate for details.