James Gandolfini was remembered by his The Sopranos co-star Edie Falco in an emotional tribute to the late actor during Sunday (22 Sept.) night's 65th Annual Emmy Awards. In a ceremony that featured a number of memorials to fallen stars, Falco's appraisal of her on-screen husband was by far one of the most poignant of the night as she led the ceremony into a hushed remembrance of the acting great.

Edie Falco Sopranos
Falco and Gandolfini during one of their many domestic disputes

Falco, who played the long-suffering Carmela Soprano in the ever-popular series, fought back the tears as she remembered the late actor, who passed away in June aged 51. She remembered Gandolfini as a man of "tremendous warmth and heart" and who was "uniquely generous," being nothing like the character he will be best remembered for.

"When you see really great art you can sometimes forget that behind it is a person with technique and skill, for sure, but with an instinct, a perspective that is distinctly their own, one that moves people, pulls them in and makes them want to watch," an emotional Falco began. "James Gandolfini was one such individual. As one of many examples, his portrayal as Tony Soprano had such depth and dimension that there are still a lot of people who have a hard time believing that's not who he really was. Well, I'm here to tell you Jim was really quite different. He had tremendous warmth and heart, he was kind, he was uniquely generous. One got the feeling that Jim was never entirely comfortable with all of the attention he got, usually because he said it every chance he got."

She continued, holding back the tears, "He was far more interested in turning the light onto people who he considered more worthy. When he was interviewing Iraqi War veterans for a project that was very close to his heart, he did so with such genuine interest, respect and humility. Over the years, I was particularly moved by Jim's devotion to his family, and to his fierce loyalty to his friends and to all the people in his life. You can ask anybody that knew him, if you needed anything at all, ever, Jim was there to take care of it before you even had a chance to ask. You all knew James Gandolfini the actor, I was lucky enough to know Jim the man... the very dear man that I will miss most of all."

Gandolfini was one of five fallen televsion stars who were given special memorial segments in the awards show, with Glee actor Cory Monteith being honoured by his co-star Jane Lynch and Michael J. Fox leading a tribute for Family Ties creator Gary David Goldberg. Robin Williams led a tribute for his mentor Jonathan Winters and actress Jean Stapleton was remembered by her All In The Family co-star Rob Reiner.

Tony Soprano
Gandolfini in his timeless role as Tony Soprano