The Sopranos star Michael Imperioli honors James Gandolfini on the anniversary of his death. From 1999 to 2007, Gandolfini garnered an enormous amount of praise for his pitch-perfect portrayal of the angst-ridden mobster Tony Soprano on the touchstone HBO show. Just five years after The Sopranos ended its run as one of the greatest TV shows ever, Gandolfini tragically passed away at the age of 51 after a heart attack. In the years since, The Sopranos cast has opened up about the impact Gandolfini had on their lives and the void left by his untimely passing.
Monday, on the tenth anniversary of Gandolfini’s death, Michael Imperioli honored his late co-star with a poignant post on Instagram. The Emmy-winning actor, who played Tony’s protégé and distant cousin Christopher Moltisanti on The Sopranos, shared his latest thoughts on his co-star’s passing and said he is “forever grateful” for what they accomplished together. See Imperioli’s post on Instagram below:
James Gandolfini Was So Much More Than Tony Soprano
Gandolfini will forever be remembered as Tony Soprano, which is understandable considering it is one of the greatest and most influential performances in the history of television. He captured the angst and conflicting emotions of the character with remarkable authenticity, and over the course of the show, he sunk further into the role in an uncanny way. Gandolfini’s performance as Tony, which earned him three Emmy Awards, is credited with paving the way for more great television antiheroes like Walter White (Bryan Cranston), Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), and Don Draper (Jon Hamm).
While Gandolfini’s performance as Tony is beloved and acclaimed by audiences, he meant so much more to his co-stars on The Sopranos. He was close friends with Imperioli, for instance, with their relationship mirroring that of Tony and Christopher in the actual show. Behind the scenes, Gandolfini was beloved by many involved with the show who, over the years, have shared anecdotes about Gandolfini gifting his Sopranos co-stars thousands of dollars and other stories about his all-around good nature. In addition to his masterful performance on The Sopranos, Gandolfini’s legacy will always be defined by his generosity and kindness.