The blackout scene of the final Sopranos episode left everyone debating the fate of Tony Soprano and family. But when life imitated art, his ultimate demise became a forgone conclusion.
One wants to shout, ‘No, that’s just the story. He’s not really supposed to die’. But the untimely passing of HBO’s ‘iconic New Jersey mobster’ played by James Gandolfini is like a bad dream within a bad dream. One thinks it is over and that it did not happen only to awaken to realize that it did. A combination of grief, shock, frustration, sadness, loss and even nausea regarding the incredulity of the coincidence take over. One wonders, in this case, had life imitated art too much? Is that even possible? Did the Tony Soprano character take over James Gandolfini’s life to the extent that the fate of one became the demise of the other? That is a very unsettling concept.
One commentor, @Jigsjigz wrote on YouTube,”Well hes just passed away so hes dead in the story too.”
But James Gandolfini’s persona as well as his diverse body of work survive his nemesis, Tony Soprano. Here are some examples of the man and the actor in other roles he played. They show his range beyond the ‘conflicted yet iconic New Jersey mobster’ and ‘the shlubby but imposing work stiff’ (both descriptions from Variety).
A man with a huge heart who has been described in his industry as a ‘unique embodiment of creativity, humanity and humility’ has left us. May this post and Alison*s Art Online Magazine from RebelMouse, at right, be a small tribute to a very big man.