art, TV

RIP James Gandolfini

James Gandolfini. photo: Barry Wetcher

Actor James Gandolfini had died in Italy today at the age of 51. He is best known for playing Anthony “Tony” Soprano on the HBO series The Sopranos. That role is considered by many, including this writer, to be one of the most powerful, fascinating and nuanced characters ever put on screen, cinema or TV. He had acted alongside Robert Redford, Edie Falco, Johnny Depp and Nic Cage among many others. One of my favorite roles he played was as the diabolical and obsessive military prison warden Col. Winter in the under-appreciated film The Last Castle. He brought verve and depth to what could have been a throwaway villain in a Robert Redford vehicle. Another of his great roles was as TV producer Craig Gilbert, the creator of reality TV, in the wonderful HBO film Cinema Verite. I highly suggest you watch both films. The world has lost a living legend today and an acting superstar. There is some consolation in the fact that the famously Italian-American actor died in Italy while attending a film festival. Somewhere Tony Soprano is smiling at that. I will be writing a full essay on his work as Tony in the next couple of days. Watch this space.

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