Edie Falco, ‘Sopranos’ Stars on the Death of James Gandolfini

by | June 20, 2013 at 11:24 AM | Celebrity Deaths, The Sopranos, TV News

"The Sopranos" (Photo: HBO)

Shocked and saddened reactions to the sudden death of Hollywood heavyweight James Gandolfini continue to pour in, and now his famous TV family is weighing in with their thoughts.

The 51-year-old actor, who died Wednesday night of an apparent heart attack while vacationing in Rome, is remembered fondly by his “Sopranos” co-stars.

Edie Falco, who played Gandolfini’s on-screen wife for six seasons (1999-2007) of the Emmy-winning HBO drama, issued a statement Thursday:

“I am shocked and devastated by Jim’s passing,” Falco said. “He was a man of tremendous depth and sensitivity, with a kindness and generosity beyond words. I consider myself very lucky to have spent 10 years as his close colleague.”

She continued, “My heart goes out to his family. As those of us in his pretend one hold on to the memories of our intense and beautiful time together. The love between Tony and Carmela was one of the greatest I’ve ever known.”

Remembering James Gandolfini: The Greatest Tony Soprano Moments

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

“This news has left me heartbroken,” said Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who played Tony Soprano’s daughter Meadow on the show. “I can only imagine the pain his family feels at this time, and my heart goes out to them, especially Deborah, Michael, and Liliana.”

“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,” Sigler added. “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.”

“He was a genius,” said “Sopranos” creator David Chase. “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.”

Steven Van Zandt, who played Silvio Dante, one of Tony’s top mob guys, says he’s lost a “brother.”

“I have lost a brother and a best friend,” the musician/actor wrote on his Facebook page. “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.”

Tony Sirico, aka “Paulie Gualtieri,” called Gandolfini one of his “best friends in life.”

“He helped me with my career and I’m going to miss him,” Sirico said. “He’s part of my family.”

“We lost a giant today. I am utterly heartbroken,” said Lorraine Bracco, who played Tony Sopranos’ therapist Dr. Melfi.

Watch the Infamous Final Episode of “The Sopranos” Below: