The acting world sighs a breath of sadness and condolence today, as one of its greats, James Gandolfini, has reportedly passed away in Italy. He was aged 51. The cause of death was a heart attack, although there are no confirmed sources yet. “Everyone is in tears,” the source close to the him said, according to The New York Daily News.

Gandolfini was, of course, known for his imperious role as Tony Sopranos in the hit HBO drama, The Sopranos. For most people, his was not only best known for this role, but synonymous with it because of his immersion coupled with his rare TV and movie performances. He won both the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and The Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series three times. After the Sopranos, Gandolfini enjoyed a hilarious role in The Loop and a voice acting role in Where The Wild Things Are, showing his adaptability as an actor. Previous to The Sopranos, he starred as a henchmen in True Romance – his fight with Patricia Arquette is now infamous - and Get Shorty. Most recently, he was seen in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and Zero Dark Thirty.

Gandolfini – who is survived by his wife, Deborah Lin and a son – has already gone down in TV folklore for his portrayal of the matriarchal mob boss Tony Soprano.

James GandolfiniGandolfini delighted audiences with his role as Tony Soprano

James Gandolfini
Gandolfini pictured here at The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Gala