James Gandolfini: Heart Attack Claims Life of 'Sopranos' Star

Note: HBO released a statement regarding the tragic and untimely death of James Gandolfini. Their statement is provided at the end of this piece.

James Gandolfini is dead at 51 from a heart attack. Gandolfini, known for his gregarious demeanor, died in Italy on Wednesday, just before he was scheduled to appear at the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily. Gandolfini, a New Jersey native, was most recently featured in the 2012 thriller, Zero Dark Thirty.

TMZ caught up with the James Gandolfini just weeks ago in Los Angeles where he chatted up the paparazzi and discussed a possible Sopranos movie before getting into his car. The actor showed no signs of ill-health and seemed to be in high spirits. 

James leaves behind is wife, Deborah Lin, whom he married in 2008 in Hawaii and two children, a 1-year-old daughter and a teenage son from a previous marriage. 

Celebrity condolences are pouring in from social media regarding James Gandolfini's untimely death. Actress Olivia Wilde tweeted, "James Gandolfini was a kind, funny, wonderful guy. I'm so lucky to have worked with him. Sending love to his family. Such a sad, sad, day."

Steve Carell was understandably quiet, simply saying, "James Gandolfini. What a great loss."

It's unclear at this time what caused James Gandolfini's fatal heart attack. Our condolences go out to James Gandolfini's family and friends during this difficult time. 

Update 8:42 p.m. EST: HBO, the network that hosted the Sopranos for all six seasons, has just released a statement.

"We're all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family," said HBO. "He was a special man, a great talent, but more importantly, a gentle and loving person who treated everyone no matter their title or position with equal respect. He touched so many of us over the years with his humor, his warmth and his humility. Our hearts go out to his wife and children during this terrible time. He will be deeply missed by all of us."

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Kat Robinson

Kat Robinson is a regular contributor for SheKnows.com -- one of Forbes Top 100 Websites for Women. Kat also serves on the Executive Board for the Jack Kent Cooke Scholars Association.

MORE FROM

‘Girls Trip’ finishes second at the box office, outperforming expectations

The film's success once again demonstrates how diverse films are underestimated at the box office.

‘Insecure’ season two is television for us, by us — and it’s even better than before

Creator Issa Rae shouldn't sweat the Emmy snub — her connection with her core audience is what really makes this series shine.

We talked to military experts about who will win the Iron Throne

Does Dany have a chance? Historians, tacticians and scholars weigh in on the ultimate outcome of 'Game of Thrones.'

‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7, Episode 2 Trailer: New alliances may form in “Stormborn”

Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen may have an unexpected intermediary.

Tyler, the Creator is still a “walking paradox” on the rumor-baiting ‘Flower Boy’

Is he queer? Maybe. Does he know how to use the speculation to further his art? Definitely.

Note to Ryan Murphy: ‘American Horror Story’ reveals don’t need to be a scavenger hunt

The title and premiere date of the seventh season of 'American Horror Story' were revealed Thursday.

‘Girls Trip’ finishes second at the box office, outperforming expectations

The film's success once again demonstrates how diverse films are underestimated at the box office.

‘Insecure’ season two is television for us, by us — and it’s even better than before

Creator Issa Rae shouldn't sweat the Emmy snub — her connection with her core audience is what really makes this series shine.

We talked to military experts about who will win the Iron Throne

Does Dany have a chance? Historians, tacticians and scholars weigh in on the ultimate outcome of 'Game of Thrones.'

‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7, Episode 2 Trailer: New alliances may form in “Stormborn”

Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen may have an unexpected intermediary.

Tyler, the Creator is still a “walking paradox” on the rumor-baiting ‘Flower Boy’

Is he queer? Maybe. Does he know how to use the speculation to further his art? Definitely.

Note to Ryan Murphy: ‘American Horror Story’ reveals don’t need to be a scavenger hunt

The title and premiere date of the seventh season of 'American Horror Story' were revealed Thursday.