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Shocked and Saddened

I was saddened this morning to hear about the sudden death of James Gandolfini in Italy, of an apparent heart attack. He was only fifty-one.

I don't recall that I ever met Gandolfini, though we may have been present at one or more HBO events over the past couple of years (those are large gatherings), but I was huge admirer of his acting. THE SOPRANOS was "must watch TV" for us every year it was on. A terrific show, with a terrific cast... Gandolfini first and foremost among them. It was the show that redefined drama on television, proving once and for all the audiences would gladly follow a flawed, grey, violent character, provided he was interesting enough. A ground-breaking show, an important show, it helped define HBO's "brand," and set the tone for many of the great HBO dramas to follow, including DEADWOOD, ROME, THE WIRE, BOARDWALK EMPIRE... and GAME OF THRONES.

Gandolfini was a fellow Jersey boy and Jets fan as well.

A huge talent. I never knew him, but I will miss him all the same.


Jun. 20th, 2013 04:58 pm (UTC)
Aye, Such a sad day. One of the most talented actors i've watched. Tony Soprano is the greatest television character of all time in my opinion with Gandolfini giving a legendary performance. Like you said without him we wouldn't have this golden age of TV. Rest in peace.
Jun. 20th, 2013 05:23 pm (UTC)
I miss him
I remember watching every episode of the Soprano, and loving it. Not so much for the violence or the lifestyle he was portraying, but because it was so well written. David Chase captured the italian-american culture perfectly .James Gandolfini was just perfect. I just loved every bit of his character flaws, his gestures, etc. He brought my Jersey -Italian family to life (not the mafia part)right before my eyes. He brought New Jersey to life on the small screen.

Just so sad he is gone. I will always remember him. :(
Valdred Dethstorm
Jun. 20th, 2013 05:37 pm (UTC)
James Gandolfini was an awesome actor, I'm sad because of his sudden passing.
Jun. 20th, 2013 06:16 pm (UTC)
valar morghulis
Jun. 20th, 2013 06:50 pm (UTC)
So shocking and sad. And YES The Sopranos was groundbreaking TV. Without it we would not have all of the brilliant cable television shows we do today. It opened the door for the premium move channels to start creating original programming and TV will never be the same. And that show's success owes a GREAT DEAL to the performance of James Gandolfini. He made it easy to root for someone who really didn't deserve it. He made complicated characters the norm and for that I am grateful. RIP.
Jun. 20th, 2013 08:22 pm (UTC)
Indeed. Awesome show, awesome actor. Sounds like one if the good guys. I read that he just didnt want to have that vicious psychopath in his head anymore so thus endeth Sopranos.
Matthew Hughes
Jun. 20th, 2013 08:49 pm (UTC)
I was hugely impressed by the man. By no means was he Hollywood's idea of a a leading man, but he absolutely dominated every scene he was in as Tony Soprano. He carried that series. When he was on the screen, you couldn't take your eyes off him. That was talent, by god.
Jun. 20th, 2013 09:03 pm (UTC)
Gandolfini was a wonderful actor. 51 is too goddamned young. RIP.
Charles Downie
Jun. 21st, 2013 04:43 am (UTC)
Amen. [...and I'm sitting at 52 !]
Jun. 20th, 2013 10:11 pm (UTC)
And now his watch is ended :(
Well said.

I started reading A Song Of Ice And Fire at the same time The Sopranos first aired, and that show was what convinced me that, if they ever did make your books into a TV show, then it would have to be on HBO. And I don't think anyone could have pulled off Tony like James did.

Edited at 2013-06-20 10:13 pm (UTC)
Jun. 20th, 2013 11:17 pm (UTC)
that's the life...
hope some another talented person has been born on this day
Jun. 21st, 2013 02:08 am (UTC)
I actually burst into tears when I heard the news last night. For real.

The most chilling thing was that I was minutes away from sitting down to an Italian dinner and an episode of 'The Sopranos' (as I am currently rewatching the whole series) when I heard the news. So then I teared up off-and-on throughout the entire episode that I watched. :(

I've always loved that show, and I've also loved Gandolfini in everything I've ever seen him in. This is a terrible loss.
Jun. 21st, 2013 05:47 pm (UTC)

Christy Turner
Jun. 21st, 2013 10:45 pm (UTC)
Very Nice
Great actor that has influenced many. RIP.
Charles Downie
Jun. 21st, 2013 04:13 am (UTC)
James Gandolfini
100% agreement. Good actor. Defined a flawed character that you could root for and the show "laid the table" for future HBO series.
Jun. 21st, 2013 07:04 am (UTC)
I'd say Gandolfini played a major role in redefining the tv drama in general. In addition to direct links with HBO, I have a hard time picturing ongoing, acclaimed series like Mad Men and Breaking Bad existing without the genius of David Chase and James Gandolfini either.
Jun. 21st, 2013 12:46 pm (UTC)
A great loss.

"Live for today, because tomorrow may never come."

I'm 46. Lesson learned.
Jun. 21st, 2013 01:21 pm (UTC)
I hardly saw The Sopranos, but I admired his fine work in movies like The Man Who Wasn't There, and In the Loop.
Jun. 21st, 2013 08:34 pm (UTC)
Gandolfini's death was such a shocker that I found myself just gaping in surprise. He was a heck of a fine actor and several of his roles were simply timeless.
Jun. 22nd, 2013 12:35 am (UTC)
Couldn't have said it better myself George...what a tremendous talent the world has lost. Cannot count the number of times my dad and I have watched the entire run on DVD. He truly was that character, and I for one know I will miss him immensely.
James Rutledge Roesch
Jun. 22nd, 2013 02:37 am (UTC)
James Gandolfini defined "The Sopranos." Tony Soprano was not only a wise-guy mobster (although Gandolfini played that part perfectly), but also a loving father, estranged husband, dutiful son, aging man, and vulnerable patient. It was a tremendous role, and Gandolfini brought it to life.
Jun. 22nd, 2013 07:05 pm (UTC)
Hi. Sorry if this is an inappropriate place to put this, but I actually thought it might cheer you somewhat. I was recently reading a Song of Ice and Fire forum and found a link to a post on reddit, written by a young person who is a dwarf about their experiences reading about Tyrion Lannister for the first time. I thought it was quite touching, and although I don't know the original author at all, I found myself wondering if you had read it. I attempted to link it here, but it seems that links are automatically regarded as spam (I understand why, of course). In any case, it's a nice read by someone who was obviously very moved by the character, and if you're interested, you could easily find it by googling "Reddit a dwarf's perspective on Tyrion Lannister". It should be the first result.

Again, I'm sorry about your loss and I hope talking about something else here doesn't make it seem as if I'm diminishing that, but my hope is that reading this would make you happy; as a writer, I know it would mean a great deal to me if one of my characters had been able to touch someone like that.
Jun. 24th, 2013 03:04 pm (UTC)
Well said. A great performance is truly a collaboration between the writer, director, and actor. It's through the actor that an audience learns not only more about the character, but about themselves. We let them into our homes through our TV sets, and they become members of the family. And thus when they're gone. It's hard not to miss them.

- Jared
Jun. 24th, 2013 03:56 pm (UTC)
Fan Made character for Game of Thrones
Dear, Mr. Martin
My name is Nikolas Di Domenico I am 15 and am a fan of Game of Thrones. I had a character that I made named Italo Sconosciuto. He is a 15 to 16 year old Assassin for the Assassin's Brotherhood. He is told by his master to find and Marry Arya so they can bond with the Faceless Men and the Starks. he is told that she is heading to wear the Red wedding took place. He heads there and see's the battle going on he fights to find answer of where are Arya could be. As Italo Travels more he finds Nymeria Arya's Dirwolf and bonds with it so he can find Arya. I do not have anymore idea could you help and do you think he is a good character for Game Of Thrones.
Nikolas Di Domenico
Jul. 4th, 2013 06:40 am (UTC)
Re: Fan Made character for Game of Thrones
He sounds like a fun characters, Nikolas, and it's cool that you're writing stories at 15 years of age. So was I, for what it's worth. Keep at it.

You should make up your own world as well as your own characters, though. Let Italo have his own adventures in his own story, rather than tying him in with Arya and Nymeria and my cast. Worldbuilding is an important part of the writing process as well.

Good luck to you.

Jun. 26th, 2013 09:38 pm (UTC)
Really suprised and saddened to hear about Gandolfini, and now Richard Matheson's f ate. Less shocking, but I enjoyed his stories very much.
Jun. 27th, 2013 10:47 pm (UTC)
Blessing to him and his family.
We raise a parting glass to him! I have never seen the Sopranos,but with GoT AND Walking Dead off air for awhile, I think this might be a good opportunity to watch it. ANOTHER QUESTION. Is Chris at Bantam still the contact person for potential appearances? We'd love to have you come to our Celtic Fest here in Austin.
Jun. 28th, 2013 10:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Blessing to him and his family.
Chris has not been at Bantam for years.

My publicist at RH is now David Moench.
Ousia Cellier
Jun. 29th, 2013 10:27 am (UTC)
Hello George,

I just wanted to tell you. Do not let yourself make by all these crazy fans that want you to write the next Got book as if you were late to deliver a kitchen with all the equipment required. Of course, Its a torture to wait for you, but your life is entirely yours. Some of your fans just don't want you to mess up the end of an amazing saga just to please some people who have nothing in their lives but complaining.

Ps : If you want to kill Arya, please, give her a noble and epic death, same for Tyrion.

You are an amazing human being. And your books are extremely important to me. Take care of you . :)


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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