I really can't say enough about the CNN text alerts that I receive. They always seem to know what news is important enough to share with me. Not to mention that it's a pretty safe bet that when I hear it from CNN I can count on it being pretty dead-on accurate (excuse the pun). Even if sometimes I wish it wasn't. Such as the case here.
Famed "Sopranos" actor James Gandolfini passed away last Wednesday as a result of a cardiac arrest while on vacation in Italy. He was 51-years-old.
It couldn't have possibly been more stereotypical that an overweight Italian actor died in Italy from a heart attack. Even moreso when you find out that his final meal before his death included a huge portion of fried food in addition to several alcoholic beverages. It really sucks that some Hollywood types think their bodies are immune to bad eating habits just because they have achieved a certain level of success. 51 is far too young too die no matter who you are.
I was one of the few people who never watched a single episode of "The Sopranos". Not a one. I caught a few minutes of one in passing, but never sat through the an entire one. I even watched the last five minutes of the series finale just to see if he would get knocked off even though I knew nothing of any of the storylines leading up to that point. It's rather ironic too because I LOVE watching movies and shows about the mob. It's just that when the series first started I didn't have HBO then when I eventually got it, I never bothered to catch up on the show.
However, that didn't stop me from recognizing what a phenomenon the show had become. As well as then knowing who the lead actor in the series was. And consequently remembering that I had seen him in one of my favorite movies. It's just that I didn't know who Gandolfini was at the time I first saw "Get Shorty". Even though his part wasn't that big, I still liked his role.
Once "Sopranos" hit, he would go on to get bigger parts in other movies that I thorougly enjoyed. Like the much underrated "Last Castle". The voice of Carol in "Where the Wild Things Are". Or even the casino boss Doug Munny in the maligned "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone". Although he never had that true breakout role in film, he had done plenty to make himself recognizable to movie fans. And also enough that he would be missed.
Rest in peace, Tony.