James Gandolfini – Dead at 51

TMZ is reporting that James Gandolfini, the man who played Tony Soprano on award-winning HBO series The Sopranos died earlier today in Italy. He was 51.

Gandolfini is reported to have suffered a heart attack while in Italy to attend the 59th Taormina Film Festival in Sicily.

The burly New Jersey native had been a successful character actor for years until landing the role of Tony Soprano in 1999. During the show’s run he garnered three Emmy Awards. Since then, Gandolfini appeared in several supporting roles, most notably playing the CIA director in Zero Dark Thirty, and on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning comedy God of Carnage in 2009.

According to TMZ, Gandolfini is survived by his wife Deborah Lin, the couple’s daughter who was born in October 2012, and a teenage son from a previous marriage.

Check out the New York Daily News photo tribute here.