The passing of James Gandolfini at the age of 51 has rocked the entertainment world and sent a massive outpouring of remembrances and love for the award-winning star.
The actor was reportedly on vacation in Rome when he suffered a heart attack. He was scheduled to participate in an event this weekend with Italian director Gabriele Muccino as part of the 59th Taormina Film Festival in Sicily.
Gandolfini, best known for playing a troubled mob boss on the HBO hit "The Sopranos," was remembered as a genius by series creator David Chase. "Anyone who saw him even in the smallest of his performances knows that," he told TMZ. "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."
Tributes from others around the world immediately started spreading over Twitter, with everyone from Steve Carrell to Sen. John McCain sending condolences.
RIP James Gandolfini, one of the nicest guys I've ever met— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) June 20, 2013
The great James Gandolfini passed away today. Only 51. I can't believe it.— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) June 20, 2013
James Gandolfini. Unbelievably sad news. A fine man.— Steve Carell (@SteveCarell) June 20, 2013
James Gandoldini gave the greatest performance in the history of television. He was also a kind man. Condolences to his family.— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) June 20, 2013
I am heartbroken about James Gandolfini. He was a gentle giant and great man. I love this picture, I loved him. pic.twitter.com/Y1wdbeUDfK— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) June 19, 2013
Of particular note was the tweet by BJ Novak of "The Office," who included Gandolfini's "Inside the Actor's Studio" appearance - calling it "one of the most inspiring interviews about acting I have ever seen." Check it out below: