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James Gandolfini dead at 51; Gandolfini heart attack in Italy

Gandolfini, 51, has died of a sudden heart attack. Gandolfini, most known for his roles as Tony Soprano on the HBO drama, “The Sopranos” was in Sicily for the 59th annal Taormina Film Festival. Gandolfini was scheduled to participate in the event over the weekend . It was reported that he was to join the stage with Italian director Gabriele Muccino.

“The Sopranos” began in 1999 and lasted until 2008. It remains one of HBO's most viewed television drams. Gandolfini won three Emmy awards for his role of Tony Soprano during the six season run. James was also in popular movies such as “Get Shorty,” “The Mexican,” and Zero Dark Thirty.”

TMZ reported they last spoke with Gandolfini in May and “he was in great spirits, making funny faces and joking about a “Sopranos” movie. Reports came in that Gandolfini was tattoo shopping prior to his death. Gandolfini visited T-Man Tattoo in Studio City, Calif. on June 1. The owner stated James was very excited to get his new ink. He did not tell the artist what he wanted to get done, only that he had just moved to the neighborhood and would later return this month for the tattoo session.

“Sopranos” creator David Chase said that James “was a genius. Anyone who saw him even in the smallest of his performances knows that.” Chase goes on to say, “ He is one of the greatest actors of this or any time. A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes.”

David Chase finds sadness in thinking about James's family. “ For Deborah and Michael and Lilana this is crushing.”

Stars have begun to share their thoughts on Twitter.

Olivia Wilde: James Gandolfini was a kind, funny, wonderful guy. I'm so lucky to have worked with him. Sending love to his family. Such a sad, sad day.

Samuel L. Jackson:Massive blow to the acting community today... The passing of James Gandolfini. So talented. My heart goes out to his family!

John Cusack: RIP James Gandolfini - had the pleasure of working with him and knowing him a bit- always a truth teller- gent and all around class act-

It brings great sadness to announce the death of James Gandolfini. He was a great actor who will be missed by millions. Please share your condolences in the comments below.