Reaction To James Gandolfini’s Death
The sudden death of actor James Gandolfini, a Westwood native, has struck a chord with New Jerseyans thanks to his role as mob boss Tony Sorano drawing reaction from all over.
Governor Chris Christie (R)
“It’s an awful shock. James Gandolfini was a fine actor, a Rutgers alum and a true Jersey guy. I was a huge fan of his and the character he played so authentically, Tony Soprano. I have gotten to know Jimmy and many of the other actors in the Sopranos cast and I can say that each of them are an individual New Jersey treasure. Mary Pat and I express our deepest sympathies to Mr. Gandolfini’s wife and children, and our prayers are with them at this terrible time.”
Senator Robert Menendez (D)
“James Gandolfini was a distinctive, talented actor whose unforgettable performances made him a television icon. Through all of his success, James Gandolfini remained a proud New Jerseyan, a Westwood native and a Rutgers University graduate. His photograph has been displayed in my Washington, D.C. office for years as part of our New Jersey Wall of Fame. I am saddened at the news of his untimely death. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and all who were close to him.”
Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D)
"My condolences to the family and all those who loved James Gandolfini — a true NJ Great and NJ Original. RIP."
"The Rutgers University community mourns the sad and sudden loss of James Gandolfini, a 1983 Rutgers graduate who was inducted into the Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2004. Mr. Gandolfini was a proud and passionate supporter of the university for many years. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Gandolfini's family."
Former Rutgers Football Coach Greg Schiano
“I am sad to hear of the passing of Jim Gandolfini. He was a great supporter of Rutgers Football long before it was fashionable to be so. His generosity in helping us lent relevance to our football program at a time when it was desperately needed. In addition to his acting acclaim, he will be remembered by all Rutgers people as compassionate alum and a great New Jerseyan.”
Rutgers University Alumni Association
The Rutgers family lost one of our Hall of Distinguished Alumni members today. Our condolences to the Gandolfini family as we remember this talented alumnus.
Sopranos creator David Chase
“He is one of the greatest actors of this or any time. A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes. I remember telling him many times, ‘You don’t get it. You’re like Mozart.’ There would be silence at the other end of the phone. For Deborah and Michael and Liliana this is crushing. And it’s bad for the rest of the world. He wasn’t easy sometimes. But he was my partner, he was my brother in ways I can’t explain and never will be able to explain.”
Brad Grey, a producer of "The Sopranos"
"Jimmy was one of the most talented, authentic and vulnerable actors of our time. He was unorthodox and truly special in so many ways. He had the sex appeal of Steve McQueen or Brando in his prime as well as the comedic genius of Jackie Gleason."
Actor and musician Steven Van Zandt
"I have lost a brother and a best friend. 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.
HBO, which ran The Sopranos
"We're all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family," the network said in a statement. "He was 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."
"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."
Jeff Daniels who performed with Gandolfini on Broadway in God Of Carnage
"If Broadway has a version of a guy you want in your foxhole, Jim Gandolfini was mine. During our time together in 'God of Carnage,' we played 320 performances together. He didn't miss one. Sadly, I now miss him like a brother."
"We lost a giant today. I am utterly heartbroken."
"Fifty-one and leaves a kid -- he was newly married. His son is fatherless now ... It's way too young."