Gandolfini on February 19, 2007
|Born||James Joseph Gandolfini, Jr.
September 18, 1961
Westwood, New Jersey, USA
James Joseph Gandolfini, Jr. (born September 18, 1961) is an American actor. He is best known for his role as Tony Soprano in The Sopranos, about a troubled crime boss struggling to balance his family life and career in the Mafia. For this role, Gandolfini garnered enormous praise, winning both the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series three times. Gandolfini's other roles include the woman-beating mob henchman Virgil in True Romance, enforcer/stuntman Bear in Get Shorty, and the impulsive Wild Thing Carol in Where the Wild Things Are.
In 2007, Gandolfini produced the documentary Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq, in which he interviewed 10 injured Iraq War veterans. In 2010, Gandolfini produced another documentary, Wartorn: 1861-2010, in which posttraumatic stress disorder and its impact on soldiers and families is analyzed throughout several wars in American history, from 1861 to 2010. TV Guide ranked him 28 on its "50 Sexiest Stars of All Time" list in 2005.
Gandolfini was born in Westwood, New Jersey. His mother, Santa, a high school lunch lady, was born in the USA, of Italian ancestry, and raised in Naples, Italy. His father, James Joseph Gandolfini, Sr., a native of Borgotaro, Italy, was a bricklayer, cement mason, and later the head custodian at Paramus Catholic High School, New Jersey. James, Sr., also earned a Purple Heart in World War II. His parents were devout Roman Catholics and spoke Italian at home. Due to such influence, Gandolfini has a strong sense of being Italian, and regularly visits Italy.
Gandolfini grew up in Park Ridge and graduated from Park Ridge High School in 1979, where he played basketball and acted in school plays. He was awarded the title "Class Flirt" in his senior yearbook. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from Rutgers University, where he worked as a bouncer at an on-campus pub. Gandolfini also worked as a bartender and club manager prior to embarking on an acting career. Gandolfini was introduced to acting as a young man living in New York City, when he accompanied a friend, actor Roger Bart, to a Meisner technique acting class. In 2003, Gandolfini appeared in a series of television commercials, with Greg Schiano, promoting Rutgers football.
Gandolfini's most acclaimed role to date is that of Tony Soprano, a New Jersey Mafia boss and family man who is the lead character in The Sopranos, which debuted in 1999. He won three Emmys for "Best Actor in a Drama" for his depiction of Tony Soprano, who constantly questions his identity and purpose. Gandolfini eventually earned $1,000,000 per episode in the series, and Entertainment Weekly listed him as the 42nd Greatest TV Icon of All Time.
Film and stage work
Gandolfini performed in a 1992 Broadway production of On the Waterfront for six months. One of his best-known film roles is that of Virgil, a brutal woman-beating mob enforcer, in the 1993 romantic thriller True Romance. Gandolfini has said that one of his major inspirations for the role of Virgil, in True Romance, was an old friend of his, who was a hitman. In 1994 film Terminal Velocity, Gandolfini played Ben Pinkwater, a seemingly mild-mannered insurance man who turns out to be a violent Russian mobster. In Get Shorty (1995), he appeared as a bearded ex-stuntman with a Southern accent, and in The Juror (1996), he played a mob enforcer with a conscience. He played the Mayor of New York in the 2009 remake of The Taking of Pelham 123.
Gandolfini returned to HBO in 2007 as the executive producer of the Emmy-nominated documentary special, Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq, his first project after The Sopranos and the first production for his company Attaboy Films, which was opened in 2006 with producing partner Alexandra Ryan. He returned to the stage in 2009, appearing in Broadway's God of Carnage with Marcia Gay Harden, Hope Davis and Jeff Daniels.
In June 2010, it was announced that Gandolfini would be executive producing an HBO film about Ernest Hemingway and his relationship with Martha Gellhorn, titled Hemingway & Gellhorn and starring Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman. Philip Kaufman will direct the film, which was written by Barbara Turner and Jerry Stahl, and will reportedly begin shooting in 2011.Variety reported in January 2011 that Gandolfini will reunite with Sopranos creator David Chase for Not Fade Away (2012), a music-driven production set in 1960s New Jersey. Gandolfini will co-star in Chase's feature film debut, playing the father of a teenage rock 'n' roll band lead singer (John Magaro).
Alive Day: Home from Iraq
In 2007, Gandolfini produced a documentary with HBO focused on injured Iraq War veterans and their devotion to America, while surveying the physical and emotional costs of war. Ten surviving soldiers were interviewed by Gandolfini, who revealed their thoughts on the challenges they face integrating back into society and family life. They also reflected on the memories of the day when they narrowly escaped death, and what life may have been like in other circumstances.
In 2010, Gandolfini produced another documentary with HBO, which analyzed the effects of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) throughout American history, from 1861 to 2010. It featured interviews with American military officials on their views of PTSD and how they are trying to help soldiers affected by it. Letters from soldiers of the American Civil War and World War I who were affected by PTSD are examined, along with interviews with soldiers affected by PTSD and their families.
Gandolfini has maintained ties with his hometown of Park Ridge by supporting The Octoberwoman Foundation for Breast Cancer Research. He appears at their annual October banquet and often brings other Sopranos cast members to help Octoberwoman draw large crowds. He resides in New York City, and owns a lot on the Lake Manitoba Narrows.
On August 30, 2008, Gandolfini married his girlfriend, former model Deborah Lin, in her hometown of Honolulu, Hawaii, after dating her for two years. Gandolfini has a son, Michael, with his ex-wife, Marcy Wudarski, from whom he was divorced in December 2002.
Gandolfini is a fan of motorcycles and owns a Harley Davidson. He also owns a Vespa scooter. On May 4, 2006, Gandolfini was riding his Vespa in New York City, when it was hit by a taxi in traffic. He was forced to undergo knee surgery after the accident, postponing the filming of the final Sopranos episodes by three months.
|1987||Shock! Shock! Shock!||Orderly|
|1992||A Stranger Among Us||Tony Baldessari|
|1993||Money for Nothing||Billy Coyle|
|1994||Terminal Velocity||Ben Pinkwater|
|1995||Le Nouveau monde||Will Caberra|
|1995||Crimson Tide||Lt. Bobby Dougherty|
|1997||Night Falls on Manhattan||Joey Allegretto|
|1997||She's So Lovely||Kiefer|
|1997||Perdita Durango||Willie "Woody" Dumas|
|1997||12 Angry Men||Juror #6|
|1997||Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil||Diner cook||Uncredited|
|1998||The Mighty||Kenny Kane|
|1998||A Civil Action||Al Love|
|1999||A Whole New Day||Vincent||Short film, included in Stories of Lost Souls|
|2001||The Mexican||Winston Baldry||L.A. Outfest Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role|
|2001||The Man Who Wasn't There||Big Dave Brewster|
|2001||The Last Castle||Colonel Winter|
|2004||Surviving Christmas||Tom Valco|
|2006||Romance & Cigarettes||Nick Murder|
|2006||Lonely Hearts||Det. Charles Hilderbrandt|
|2006||All the King's Men||Tiny Duffy|
|2006||Club Soda||The man||Short film, included in Stories USA|
|2008||American Breakdown||Himself||archive footage|
|2009||In the Loop||Lt. Gen. George Miller||Chlotrudis Award for Best Cast|
|2009||The Taking of Pelham 123||Mayor of New York|
|2009||Where the Wild Things Are||Carol||Voice|
|2010||Welcome to the Rileys||Doug Riley|
|2010||Mint Julep||Mr. G|
|2011||Down the Shore||Bailey|
|2011||Violet & Daisy||Michael|
|2011||Cinema Verite||Craig Gilbert|
|2012||Killing Them Softly||Mickey|
|2012||Zero Dark Thirty||Leon Panetta||Nominated – Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble|
|2012||Not Fade Away||Pat|
|2013||Escape from Planet Earth||Shanker||Voice|
|2013||The Incredible Burt Wonderstone||Doug Munny|
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- Rohan, Virginia. "North Jersey-bred and talented too", The Record (Bergen County), June 18, 2007. Accessed July 5, 2007. "James Gandolfini: Class of 1979, Park Ridge High School.... Basketball player; appeared in school plays, including Arsenic and Old Lace."
- James Gandolfini bio, askmen.com, accessed May 22, 2007.
- "25 (Not Quite) Random Facts About James Gandolfini". Broadway.com: Broadway Buzz. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
- People Scoop!, people.com. Retrieved April 23, 2003.
- Larry Hagman, Dallas | The 50 Greatest TV Icons | Photo 1 of 51 | EW.com
- He has received a Tony Award nomination in the category of Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play for his role in the play, but lost to Geoffrey Rush from the play, Exit the King. Gandolfini Stars on Broadway in God of Carnage The Associated Press, January 12, 2009
- "HBO Orders Hemingway Film With Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen". TVGuide.com.
- McNary, Dave (January 24, 2011). "Gandolfini, Chase reconnect at 'Twylight' ". Variety.com. Reed Business Information. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
- Andreeva, Nellie (January 24, 2011). " 'Sopranos' Big-Screen Reunion: James Gandolfini Joins David Chase's New Movie". Deadline.com. Mail.com Media Corporation. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
- Writer, Staff (2007-10-17). "Winnipeg Free Press". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 2010-04-11.
- Slaght, Veronica. "'Sopranos' star James Gandolfini buys home in Tewksbury", The Star-Ledger, September 24, 2009. Accessed January 21, 2011. "James Gandolfini, who portrayed the conflicted mobster on the popular HBO drama “The Sopranos,” has taken up residence in the posh seclusion of Tewksbury’s wooded hills."
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: James Gandolfini|
- James Gandolfini at the Internet Movie Database
- James Gandolfini at the TCM Movie Database
- James Gandolfini at Yahoo! Movies