James Gandolfini, who died of a suspected heart attack aged 51 on Wednesday 19 June, is one of only two US actors to ever win three Emmys Awards.
The actor was nominated six times for his role as Tony Soprano in the hit HBO show The Sopranos, which ran for six series from 1999-2007.
Like his onscreen character, Gandolfini was an Italian American from New Jersey. He previously worked as a barman and bouncer in New York City before a friend persuaded him to attend an acting class.
In 1992 he was cast alongside Jessica Lange and Alec Baldwin in a Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire. The following year he took a supporting role as a hood in the Quentin Tarantino-scripted movie, True Romance.
Gandolfini’s film career included memorable supporting roles in Get Shorty (1995), Crimson Tide (1995), The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001), Killing Them Softly (2012) and Zero Dark Thirty (2012). Shortly before his death, he had been working on a US remake of the BBC series Criminal Justice for HBO.
Gandolfini is survived by his wife Deborah Lin and their daughter Liliana, who was born in October. He also has a teenage son, Michael, from his first marriage to Marcy Wudarksi.
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