questionsr.i.p. james gandolfini.

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I just saw the breaking news alert. Very sad - a remarkable actor!
He will be missed.

-=C=-

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That's too bad. I really thought he was one of the better actors out there.

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Yeah, this one really took me by surprise. Didn't think anyone would take out Tony... RIP big fella....

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Very sad. They said it was a heart attack.

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I mean no disrespect to Gandolfini or The Sopranos, but I am a little puzzled why his character was so immensely popular. In particular I don't see what made his character any better than the lead character Vic Mackey from The Shield. They were both powerful men who were deeply flawed and resorted at times to violence in order to reach their goals. It seems to me that the Sopranos debuted at exactly the right time while The Shield just hit the market at the wrong time or was too different from traditional dramas featuring police work to pull in an audience.

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@lparsons42: I think it is due to people considering HBO>FX (I believe The Shield was on FX) and that an HBO show that doesn't need to be edited for TV will be much better and realistic.

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@lparsons42: I can't speak to the Shield (never seen it), but Tony Soprano was a remarkable character in a remarkable show, which when it debuted was a landmark series in terms of quality and complexity. He is a gangster, for sure, but one with decidedly human, everyman qualities; he is raising two bratty kids in the suburbs, is wrestling with an implacable mother and bitter old uncle (like all of us, no matter how old or successful he is, he still feels like a child), and is in the throes of midlife existential despair (and, like just about all of us, in utter and impenetrable denial of his entire life). As the ultimate late-90s symbol, he is in therapy and taking Prozac. And he just happens to be a mob boss (just replace the 40s fedora with a polo sloped over a beer belly). Who among us can't relate?

And, of course, add the tremendous acting of James Gandolfini, who made his character iconic; in turns brutish, vulnerable, ignorant, tortured. Above all, utterly true to life.

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He was pretty young too at 51.

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Italian hospital confirms cause of death apparent cardiac arrest. Autopsy pending.

http://seattletimes.com/html/entertainment/2021226744_apeujamesgandolfiniitaly.html

FYI: The first symptom of cardiac disease in 20% of those that have it is sudden cardiac death. Something to ponder today.

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I loved him in the Sopranos, but you'll want to check him out in his other movies. In the Sopranos he seemed to be born to play the role, so much so that you figured that's all he could do (eg typecast as the Italian-American tough guy). But if you see some of his other films , he was incredibly versatile (Zero Dark Thirty, The Mexican, etc). RIP.

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@bls1: He was great in Crimson Tide, too.

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the concept of celebrity is ridiculous. save your concern and care surrounding death for someone you have legitimate feelings for, not some stranger who played a stranger on a tv show.

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@dupedyetagain: Very, VERY, well said. Tony's flaws and complex personality made him much more real than the average fictional character.

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@pinchecat: @pinchecat: Call me a sucker, but sympathy for our fellow man is seldom unwarranted, celebrity or no. Mr. Gandolfini's art surely inspired legitimate feelings in strangers, and they do well to mourn him. I'd like to think there's enough concern and care to go around.

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@dupedyetagain: i disagree. you didn't know the guy. do you make a habit out of reading newspaper obits every day with a box of kleenex nearby? had it not been for his stardom you wouldn't know the guy from adam, and tbph you still don't. the heck is there to mourn?

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@pinchecat: Frankly, I'm not one of the mourners. I appreciated his work, and am sad to see a talented 51-year-old die, but I honestly didn't follow his career beyond the Sopranos and shed no tears yesterday.

Don't get me wrong—I generally agree that celebrity culture is insane. Of course, people should probably examine their lives and the lives of their actual connections more closely than the lives of the unknown famous. We all have only so much time and attention, and closely studying the daily minutia of celebrities is usually unwise, given how little time and attention we as people get.

What I'm saying, though, is that Mr. Gandolfini was one of us. He was conceived, born, given a name; had a heartbeat and died. There is nothing wrong in appreciating and grieving that, particularly for those to whom his work provided something meaningful, even if only entertainment. Grief is involuntary, and who are we to debate who deserves another's care and concern?

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@dupedyetagain: ^^^ What he said. ^^^

Alternately:

Any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
from Meditation 17
by John Donne