June 20, 2013
Feeds and reads: Reactions to James Gandolfini’s death
Sopranos star James Gandolfini dies in Italy (Reuters)
James Gandolfini, the burly actor best known for his Emmy-winning portrayal of a conflicted New Jersey mob boss in the groundbreaking TV series "The Sopranos," died on Wednesday vacationing in Italy. He was 51.
Gandolfini, whose performance as Tony Soprano made him a household name and ushered in a new era of American television drama, had been scheduled to attend the closing of the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily on Saturday.
He may have suffered a heart attack, Mara Mikialian, the spokeswoman for the HBO network that produced The Sopranos, told Reuters.
Jewish celebrities react
James Gandolfini's Jewish links: Shrinks, gangsters and Maurice Sendak (by Nathan Abrams, Haaretz)
Italian-American actor James Gandolfini (1961-2013), while not Jewish, showed a deep affinity with Jews. His most iconic role, Tony Soprano, in the award-winning mafia TV series “The Sopranos,” was engaged in a very Jewish business. There were many Jewish gangsters and criminals both in film and reality. These included crime czar Hyman Roth (Lee Strasberg) in “The Godfather: Part II” (1974) – a fictional character, based heavily on real-life gangster Meyer Lansky.
One of Tony’s closest confidants was Herman “Hesh” Rabkin, a retired music industry producer who knew Tony’s late father. Tony often relied on Hesh for advice (and occasionally money) and, in return, he was one of the few characters not to meet an untimely death.
Tony Soprano, psychoanalysis and the Jews (by Ami Eden, JTA)
From my Forward days: A Jewish take on Tony Soprano and psychoanalysis:
Click here for the full article.
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