Born September 18, 1961, James Gandolfini was best known as the affable Tony Soprano, the Mafia crime boss, and the family patriarch in HBO’s The Sopranos.

Sometimes sensitive, other times sociopathic, Gandolfini’s landmark performance of the flawed gangster earned him numerous awards and international acclaim.

Speaking of the lovable but brutal Tony Soprano, James Gandolfini told Vogue: “I am playing an Italian lunatic from New Jersey, and that’s basically what I am.”


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After a hugely successful six-season run, the series ended in 2007, leaving fans wondering if the blacked-out screen in the end meant the antihero is alive, or dead.