Paulie Walnuts, Others Pay Homage to Late Actor James Galdolfini

Written by:
Jordan Bach
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Paulie Walnuts, Others Pay Homage to Late Actor James Galdolfini

The tributes continued pouring in Thursday morning following the shocking revelation of “Sopranos” star James Gandolfini’s untimely death.

He was just 51, days away from his 52nd birthday, when the New Jersey native passed away from an apparent heart attack while in Italy.

Michael Kobold, a family friend, told reporters in Rome that Gandolfini was discovered in Rome’s Exedra hotel at around 10 p.m. Wednesday. Reports suggest he was found by his 13-year-old son.

“Tony was one of my best friends in life, he was there whenever I needed him,” said Tony Sirico who played ‘Paulie Walnuts’ on The Sopranos and is the face behind Gambling911.com sponsor PayPerHead.com. “Not only did he help me with my career, but also in life, god bless him. He and I were always helping the troops, we even went to combat zones to visit the Marines. He will be missed.”

Another of the popular “Sopranos” actors, Steve Van Zandt, expressed sadness via Twitter.

“I have lost a brother and a best friend. The world has lost one of the greatest actors of all time.”

Gandolfini’s on screen wife, Edie Falco, offered her condolences Thursday morning.

“He was a man of tremendous depth and sensitivity, with a kindness and generosity beyond words,” Falco said in a statement.

“I consider myself lucky to have spent 10 years as his close colleague,” said Falco, who played opposite Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano as Jersey housewife/mob enabler Carmela.

“This news has left me heartbroken. I can only imagine the pain his family feels at this time, and my heart goes out to them, especially Deborah, Michael and Liliana,” said Jamie Lynn Sigler, who played Tony Soprano’s daughter Meadow. “I spent 10 years of my life studying and admiring one of the most brilliant actors, yes, but more importantly one of the greatest men. Jim had the ability, unbeknownst to him, to make you feel like everything would be alright if he was around. I treasure my memories with him and feel so honored that I was an up close witness to his greatness.”

“My heart goes out to his family," she said. 

“I felt like somebody kicked me in the stomach,” said Katherine Narducci, who played Charmaine Bucco on the HBO hit series. “I can tell you he was the most generous person in the world ... I can’t believe that he’s gone.”

“He was a genius,” David Chase, creator of “The Sopranos,” said in a statement. “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.”

“We lost a giant today. I am utterly heartbroken,” said Lorraine Bracco, who portrayed Tony Soprano’s therapist on the show.

“Jimmy treated us all like family with a  generosity, loyalty and compassion that is rare in this world,” said Michael Imperioli, who portrayed Tony Soprano’s protege Christopher Moltisanti. “Working with him was a pleasure and a privilege. I will be forever grateful having had a friend the likes of Jimmy.”

“I’ve not only lost a great friend, but a true brother, on screen and off. James was the most generous actor to work with, but more so, a man with a heart of gold,” said Aida Turturro, who played Gandolfini’s on-screen sister Janice. “I love him and my heart goes out to his family.”

- Jordan Bach, Gambling911.com

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