'Sopranos' Star Died Of Heart Attack Last Week At Age 51

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Broadway will pay tribute to New Jersey native and “Sopranos” star James Gandolfini who died of a heart attack in Italy last week at age 51.

The marquees of Broadway theaters will be dimmed for one minute at 8 p.m. Wednesday to honor the late stage and screen actor.

James Gandolfini was a consummate actor who brought individuality to each role and inspired a true connection with the audience. Whether on screen or on a Broadway stage, he made every role believable and seemingly effortless,” stated Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League. “Our thoughts go out to his family and friends, and certainly to all of his fans who felt as if they knew his characters.”

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Gandolfini attended Rutgers University and worked as a bartender and nightclub manager before starting his acting career in the New York theatre.

His debut on Broadway was in the 1992 production of Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire.

Gandolfini also appeared in “On The Waterfront” in 1995 and received a 2009 Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Play for his role in the award-winning “God of Carnage.”

His breakthrough screen role was an appearance as Virgil the hit man in the 1993 movie “True Romance.”

But he was best remembered as La Cosa Nostra boss Tony Soprano in the famed HBO series “The Sopranos,” which ran from 1999 until 2007. He won three Emmy Awards for his work in the series.

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When “The Sopranos,” ended production, the notoriously press-shy star appeared in a string of movies — including “Zero Dark Thirty,” where he played the director of the CIA.

In lieu of flowers, the Gandolfini family has asked that donations be made in the actor’s memory to the Wounded Warrior Project, which they called “an organization which James was very passionate about and supported in countless ways.”

The Wounded Warrior Project works to help injured service members in their return to civilian life.

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