James Gandolfini will forever be remembered for his layered performance as Tony Soprano. He brought the character to life with unrivaled emotional depth for eight years.
And it wasn't just the audiences that felt close to him. The cast and crew of The Sopranos became a kind of family, and they have been hit hard by the news of his passing.
Edie Falco's reaction was understandably heartbreaking. She said:
"I am shocked and devastated by Jim's passing. He was a man of tremendous depth and sensitivity, with a kindness and generosity beyond words. I consider myself very lucky to have spent 10 years as his close colleague. My heart goes out to his family…
The love between Tony and Carmela was one of the greatest I've ever known."
The rest of the family's comments were similarly tearful:
Lorraine Bracco - Dr. Jennifer Melfi:
"We lost a giant today. I am utterly heartbroken."
Steven Van Zandt - Silvio Dante:
"I have lost a brother and a best friend. The world has lost one of the greatest actors of all time."
Steve Schirripa - Bobby Baccalieri:
"Jimmy was a dear friend and like a brother to me. He was a great actor and a great father. I will miss him terribly. I am very sad."
David Chase - Sopranos creator:
"He was a genius. Anyone who saw him even in the smallest of his performances knows that. He is one of the greatest actors of this or any time. A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes.
I remember telling him many times, 'You don’t get it. You’re like Mozart.' There would be silence at the other end of the phone.
For Deborah and Michael and Liliana this is crushing. And it’s bad for the rest of the world. He wasn’t easy sometimes. But he was my partner, he was my brother in ways I can’t explain and never will be able to explain."
So sad. Our hearts go out to everyone who loved him. And that certainly seems to be everyone.
[Image via WENN.]