A Sad Day For The Mafia


I’m guessing there are many readers who would have qualms about feeling sorry for anyone affiliated with the Mafia. However in this case I’m referring to one of my favorite actors James Gandolfini. I watched The Sopranos in its early years then stopped for some reason. I began following the re-runs about three months ago.


As a writer I became extraordinarily intrigued by how in the heck David Chase made me like, no, made me love Tony Soprano. Every evening at eight o’clock I turned on HBO and watched the series unfold from beginning to the very last episode. There were brutal murders (hits ordered by Tony), terrible beatings (also by Tony’s request), extra-marital affairs (featuring Tony himself), violence toward women (involving Tony and his mistresses).

Yet David Chase allowed us to enter the psychiatrist’s office where Tony opened up and revealed his soul. Tony had a soft side to him. He loved animals, be they ducks or horses or the dog his father took from him when he was a young boy. Tony couldn’t stand it when someone mistreated an animal. And he never hit his wife Carmela though she often dared him to do so during their frequent violent arguments. Carmela and Tony’s nephew Christopher were the only ones who could stand up to Tony and not back down.

The viewer ends up rooting for Tony Soprano. Loving him. Liking him.

James Gandolfini could turn our hearts with a look. A tiny facial expression and I could laugh, cry, or nod with complete understanding.

James died last week at the age of 51 of a massive heart attack.

And I am so sad.

Posted on June 28, 2013, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Christy Hayes

    It was a terrible loss, Patti, I agree. He was a talented actor and that character was brilliantly written. Sad to lose someone so young.

  2. I was shocked when I heard he’d died. A life cut too short. His talent will definitely be missed.

  3. Patti, what you felt was the part of us that wants to think the bad guy is just a misunderstood kid under it all. He made Tony the kind of man we could all relate to … almost like just another working stiff who had a job to do 🙂

    I loved Tony and will miss James. Some lights burn out too soon.

  4. Janna Qualman

    I’ve never seen any of his work, but if the ripple his death caused through social media is any indication, he was a great man and a great actor.

  5. I didn’t watch The Sopranos, Patti, but I’ve seen other films James did and he was a very talented character actor. His talents will be missed. At 51, he was too young to go. May he rest in peace.

%d bloggers like this: