The world was shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of James Gandolfini yesterday. Holstens, a New Jersey ice cream shop which served as the backdrop for the iconic final diner scene of “The Sopranos,” quickly filled with fans who wanted to experience a piece of Gandolfini’s entertainment legacy. As a tribute to the late actor, the restaurant placed a “reserved” sign on the empty table where Tony Soprano sat down for his final meal. It’s a striking image, isn’t it?
Meanwhile, Gandolfini’s former co-stars and friends are reacting to his death. One of the most touching messages came from Edie Falco, who played Gandolfini’s TV wife, Carmela Soprano.
Here’s her statement, released by Showtime:
“I am shocked and devastated by Jim’s passing. 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. 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.”
In an interview with Vanity Fair last year, Gandolfini expressed his similarly deep feelings for Falco. “I’m still in love with Edie,” he said. “Of course, I love my wife, but I’m in love with Edie. I don’t know if I’m in love with Carmela or Edie or both. I’m in love with her.”
Actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who played his daughter Meadow on “The Sopranos,” also released a statement:
“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. 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.”
Sad, sad, sad.