Well -- this day officially sucks hairy meatballs:
James Gandolfini has reportedly died while in Italy, according to Deadline.com.
According to the website, the "Sopranos" star was in the country for a film festival. Variety also initially reported that he suffered a fatal stroke, but both the trade site and Deadline.com updated the cause of death to a heart attack.
Gandolfini was 51 years old and is survived by a wife and two children. He became a household star for his portrayal of mob boss Tony Soprano on "The Sopranos," a role which earned him three Emmys on six total nominations.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/19/james-gandolfini-dead_n_3468861.html
Cable TV, in The Gadfly's humble view, has been, is now, and always will be a vast wasteland of socially irredeemable sewage that in and of itself is arguably responsible for the severely stunted growth in maturity of American culture. But every now and then a show with a great story line and a superb cast of characters comes along that pretty much rescues television programming from the malodorous dung heap, where in the best of all possible worlds, it duly belongs.
One of those shows was "The Sopranos." James Gandolfini's portrayal of the psychopathic mob boss Tony Soprano, who's constant battle between his gleefully violent inner demons, and his regretful conscience, made for some of the best television ever made - which explains why the show earned 21 Emmy awards in six too short seasons, with Gandolfini nabbing three of them for best actor.
RIP James/Tony. He will be missed - but thankfully we have DVD/BluRay. Here's one, out of countless many, of The Gadfly's favorite Tony Soprano scenes: