9237020265?profile=originalBy David Amoruso

Rest in peace, James Gandolfini. You have passed away at far too young an age.

As Tony Soprano he gave the performance of a lifetime and created a character that has become a television icon. Gandolfini’s broad shoulders carried that terrific show and lifted it to great heights. The Sopranos was the first groundbreaking television series, it set the tone and paved the way for shows like The Wire, Breaking Bad, and The Shield.

Gandolfini and The Sopranos not only influenced television makers, but people in all areas of life. I can personally say that this website would not have existed if it had not been for The Sopranos. It was that show and Gandolfini’s role that started my interest in the true story behind this weird mafia family. At the age of twenty I started reading, researching, and writing. Twelve years later this website is among the biggest on the world wide web. A testament to the inspiration Gandolfini awoke in many people with his portrayal of a depressed mob boss from New Jersey.

Thank you, Mister Gandolfini, thank you for your superb acting and for creating that lovable thug Tony Soprano. You will be missed.

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  • Thank you! I am going to pick up "The First Family" today. And yep it kind of changed my life when I found that Life magazine article online...

  • I think you will enjoy the book,Kim,it's pretty decent.Well written and has some comical flair in parts.I like Mafia history myself and write most of my comments from memory.I was going to mention "Richie The Boot" who was rumored to have a crematorium on his NJ estate where he supposedly burned his victims alive like Lupo The Wolf from the old NY Black Hand days.An interesting book on that would be "The First Family" by Mike Dash which tells the story of America's first actual Mafia Family in the years around World War One and in particular their leader Giuseppe "The Clutch Hand" Morello.Yes,using the name of an actual gangster would make me nervous too,but using a nickname of one not so much.Kind of a funny story about that,when the original movie "Scarface" came out in the early '30s Al Capone sent two of his guys in person to talk to the script writer to see if the movie was about him,but the writer said it wasn't (true),but titled the movie "Scarface" so people would think it was and make it a bigger box office draw.Good luck with your novel!.

  • I know about that book! I have to get it. I'm using the character name Big Pussy in the first draft of my novel largely because I've read that somebody by that name was an operative in the Boiardo clan. Then I tried to change it because I got nervous about actually using the name of a real guy. But my writing group peeps made me change it back because they like it. Nothing quite like that name.

  • My favorite characters in the series were Richie Aprile,supposedly based off real-life gangster "Crazy Joe" Gallo in part,Uncle Junior,and Paulie.One of Joe Gallo's cousins was a member of the NJ Family,which I thought was kinda' cool as he was a true Olde School gangster like Joey himself.There is a book called "Made Men" that is the story of the present-day New Jersey Family and in part reads of their watching The Sopranos and comparing the show's characters to the real-life counterparts,even down to The Badabing Club which was an NJ-owned strip club called Wiggles in NY in real life.

  • I was first drawn to The Sopranos because they talked and moved and reasoned like my family members did. I celebrated their wonderful out-there Italian-ness. I loved everything about that show and Gandolfini was absolutely electric. 

  • Who was your favorite character, Dale?

    Very hard to believe he's gone. When The Sopranos was on it actually felt like the characters were all real people. That's how good the series was.

  • Hard to believe Tony's gone,isn't it?.Gotta admit he wasn't my favorite Sopranos character,but you had to admire Tony or as he told Christopher "You may not like me,but you WILL respect me" (or something like that)...Now my question is had the show survived until now who would have become acting boss,no pun intended?.RIP,Mr. Gandolfini,you are a legend and WILL be missed,paisan.

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