VIDEO: James Gandolfini on death

James Gandolfini appeared on “Inside the Actors Studio” in 2004.

“If Heaven exists,” asks James Lipton, the host, “what would you like to hear God say at the pearly gates?”

James Gandolfini: “Take over for a while, I’ll be right back.”

Gandolfini, best known for playing Tony Soprano on “The Sopranos,” died suddenly on Wednesday, while on vacation in Italy. He was 51. The cause may be a heart attack, according to HBO, the network that ran his show.

“THE SOPRANOS” stars react

‘‘He was a genius. Anyone who saw him even in the smallest of his performances knows that. He is one of the greatest actors of this or any time. A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes. He was my partner. … He was my brother in ways I can’t explain and never will be able to explain.’’ — David Chase, creator of ‘‘The Sopranos.’’

‘‘We lost a giant today. I am utterly heartbroken.’’ — Lorraine Bracco, Dr. Melfi on “The Sopranos”

“I have lost a brother and a best friend. The world has lost one of the greatest actors of all time. Maureen and I send our deepest sympathy and love to Deborah, Michael, Lily, and all of Jimmy’s family.” —Steven Van Zandt, Silvio Dante on “The Sopranos”

“Jimmy was one of the most talented, authentic and vulnerable actors of our time. He was unorthodox and truly special in so many ways. He had the sex appeal of Steve McQueen or Brando in his prime as well as the comedic genius of Jackie Gleason.’’ — Brad Grey, a producer of ‘‘The Sopranos.’’

‘Fifty-one and leaves a kid—he was newly married. His son is fatherless now … It’s way too young.’’ — Joe Gannascoli, Vito Spatafore on ‘‘The Sopranos.’’

“Jimmy was a dear friend and like a brother to me. He was a great actor and
a great father. I will miss him terribly. I am very sad.” Steven Schirripa, Bobby Bacala on “The Sorpanos”



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