James Gandolfini,51, a brilliant actor who was best known for his role as Tony Soprano in HBO’s The Soprano’s , died yesterday while visiting Italy with his 13 year old son, Michael. The cause of death has been attributed to an apparent heart attack.
Gandolfini won multiple Emmy Awards, Golden Globes, and Screen Actor’s Guild Awards for his outstanding performances playing the family patriarch and mob boss from 1999 - 2007.
He grew up in Park Ridge, in northern New Jersey, and graduated from Park Ridge High School, before enrolling in Rutgers College in New Brunswick, New Jersey. As an alumnus, he was a big supporter of Rutgers football, and the athletics department up until his death.
After graduating from Rutgers, and prior to becoming an actor, James worked for a number of years at the popular Manhattan gay club in the Flatiron district known as Private Eyes. He strongly supported LGBT civil rights, and marriage equality.
This is incredibly sad news, and James’ family is in my heart and prayers. I know the Rutgers community was devastated to hear about his death, and as I thought about him last night, I was flooded with fond memories of so many great times spent at Private Eyes.
He will be sorely missed.
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