Many of James Gandolfini’s “Sopranos” co-stars are speaking out about the loss of the beloved actor, who died of cardiac arrest at the age of 51 on Wednesday.
“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. As those of us in his pretend one hold on to the memories of our intense and beautiful time together. The love between Tony and Carmela was one of the greatest I’ve ever known,” Edie Falco, who played James’ onscreen wife Carmela Soprano on the HBO series, said in a statement.
Jamie Lynn Sigler, who played James’ onscreen daughter Meadow Soprano, said she felt “honored” to in the late actor’s life.
“This news has left me heartbroken. I can only imagine the pain his family feels at this time, and my heart goes out to them, especially Deborah, Michael and Liliana. I spent 10 years of my life studying and admiring one of the most brilliant actors, yes, but more importantly one of the greatest men,” she said in a statement. “Jim had the ability, unbeknownst to him, to make you feel like everything would be alright if he was around. I treasure my memories with him and feel so honored that I was an up close witness to his greatness.”
Michael Imperioli, who played James’ “Sopranos” nephew Christopher Moltisanti, also spoke out.
“Jimmy treated us all like family with a generosity, loyalty and compassion that is rare in this world. Working with him was a pleasure and a privilege. I will be forever grateful having had a friend the likes of Jimmy,” the actor said of his late co-star.
Tony Sirico, who played Paulie ‘Walnuts’ Gualtieri on the series, told Access, “He was one of my best friends in life. We visited Iraq and Afghanistan together. He was like family to me. I love him. I miss him already.”
On Wednesday, “The Sopranos” creator David Chase spoke candidly about losing his longtime collaborator and friend.
“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,” Chase said in a statement.