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 “SHOCKED by the death of James Gandolfini!”  The words of everyone as they arrived at the restaurant.  Such a talent.  

Gandolfini taught us to respect television like a good movie or play.

Most of us only really knew Gandolfini from his role as Tony in “The Sopranos”; however, we were aware that he had had an outstanding Broadway career before taking on this role.  Yet, we know very little about him as a person because he rarely gave interviews.

Let’s see what a search of the Internet can show us about this man, who is being called one of the greatest actors of our days. Gandolfini was quite involved in the Actors Studio and thankfully gave James Lipton this interview on Inside the Actors Studio, October 17, 2004.

The website for Inside the Actors Studio as features about James Gandolfini.  (Click and open in a new tab.)  Here is a YouTube copy of the interview.

If you want to make the screen larger on a video, put your cursor over the image at the extreme right.  It will say—full screen.  Click.  You can always return to regular size by using the ESC key on your computer. (on the very top row, extreme left.)

This is a long, but fascinating, video. If you want to skip or go back to see again, put your cursor on the small white  ball on the left and move it to the position you want. To be sure to start at the beginning pull this ball to the left.

Tony in “The Sopranos”

I must admit that the violence in “The Sopranos” often turned me off. What hooked me was James Gandolfini’s ability to create  those intimate insights into that very complex character, Tony Soprano.

Here are a few scenes that I think are the most revealing of Gandolfini’s talent … and the most fascinating.

In  Dr. Jennifer Melfi  (Lorraine Bracco) office. Tony is talking about his anxiety over  his son and wonders if it is all worth it.  To me this scene is so powerful that every time I watch it I can still feel the wrenching conclusion. “Is this all there is?”

In the scene Tony is making peace with Carmela (Edie Falco).  Here Tony  talks about processing Carmela’s feelings but just look at how tight his voice and facial expresses makes me wonder otherwise. The peek on the cheek told me all.

Here Gandolfini shows his legendary ability to play violent , and I see the source of his evil, his mother Livia (Nancy Marchand)




Gandolfini  started his Broadway career in the 1992 revival of A Streetcar Named Desire.  In 2009, he appeared in the award-winning play “God of Carnage”, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award.

Here is Charlie Rose’s  interview Gandolfini and the “God of Carnage” cast. 


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The grand website imdb.com International Movie Data Base list Gandolfini’s many films over his short life time.  Most of his film are violent although he did have a great sense of comedy. You can get a full sense of his film career as an actor, producer and documentarian.


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