When you hear the name James Ganoldfini, you're probably transported to those six seasons where The Sopranos
dominated HBO and won audiences' hearts. Or, you remember great movies like The Last Castle
, where the Jersey born actor got to work with one of his icons, Robert Redford. Gandolfini was a marvelous producer, actor, and family man.
And that's one of the things Edie Falco's Emmy tribute
Photo courtesy of aceshowbiz.com
We never knew Gandolfini, “the man.” We always knew Gandolfini, “the actor.” “Tony Soprano had such depth and dimension, there's still a lot of people who have a hard time believing that's not who he really was,” Edie said.
Partly, it was because Gandolfini was never comfortable with all the attention he received, and if you watched him with James Lipton on Inside the Actor's Studio
, you saw that he was really just a big teddy bear. He was born into a family who sort of sound like the family from My Big Fat Greek Wedding,
only his was Italian. He was nervous during the interview, but he was always relatable. He didn't even start out acting. In fact, he was a manager at a bar in New York called Private Eyes before he attended an acting class on the Meisner technique.
He was loyal to his friends and his family. He was warm hearted and “uniquely generous.” “If you needed anything at all, ever, Jim was there to take care of it before you even had a chance to ask.” He often found the desire to shine light on those whom he deemed worthier of the spotlight than himself. He respected our veterans and their families, leading him to produce two documentaries on the subject. As a good friend, Falco saw that compassion and she painted it beautifully so that we could see the man behind the mobster, and recognize that his skill was so great, that it was easy to assume that his real-life persona matched that of his on-screen personalities.
“You all knew James Gandolfini the actor,” Falco said, holding back tears. “I was lucky enough to know Jim the man for ten years as his close colleague and his pretend life partner, and for many more years as his friend. And it’s Jim the man, the very dear man, that I will miss most of all.”
You can watch Falco's emotional tribute below, but make sure you have tissues with you; it's definitely a tear jerker.