Remembering Gandolfini, 'The Sopranos' Conclusion

The outpouring of emotions and memories from fans, friends and members of the TV and Hollywood communities mourning James Galdolfini continue to flow after his sudden passing.

The Sopranos star, Gandolfini, 51, died of an apparent heart attack on June 19 while vacationing with his family in Italy. 

Talented, yet taciturn about his stardom, Gandolfini received acclaim for his roles in such films as True Romance, Get Shorty, Surviving Christmas, The Taking of Pelham 123, The Juror, Crimson Tide,The Mexican, Zero Dark Thirty and Not Fade Away, which reunited him with Sopranos’ creator David Chase; received a Tony nomination for God of Carnage; and was the man behind HBO war documentaries Wartorn: 1861-2010 and Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq, and biopic Hemingway & Gelhorn.

But Gandolfini’s place in our cultural history will be forever linked to his three-time Emmy-winning turn as a New Jersey crime boss. His nuanced portrayal of Tony Soprano, the ruthlessly violent criminal, yet emotionally conflicted middle-aged father trying to maintain control of himself and his families, ranks at or near the top of TV's pantheon. The mob dramedy remains HBO’s most-watched series.

The series ender, “Made in America,” premiered a little more than six years ago, its fade-to-black conclusion, forever indefinitive, controversial and memorable.

The following are links to Multichannel News’ stories in the days immediately before and after the finale that drew just under 12 million viewers on June 10, 2007, including my review; former colleague Linda Moss’s perspectives on the show's meaning to a Jersey Girl; a photo gallery marking hers and The Sopranos’ Garden State world; and reactions from viewers and cable programming executives to the way Chase finished what the Writers Guild of America recently named the best written show in history.