R.I.P James Gandolfini

So I’m still in a little bit of shock and really saddened by the death of James Gandolfini … what a tragic loss, and so young … his best was yet to come. I don’t get all worked up about celebrity deaths, but in my book this is right up there with Jerry Garcia, Clarence Clemons and Charles M. Schultz. Beyond The Sopranos, which I loved, I’ve followed him in everything he’s done, and he was probably my favorite actor … I loved his whole persona, the whole uneasy mix of brutal lion and tender, vulnerable pussycat.

I just recently saw Mr. Gandolfini in the film Killing Them Softly with Brad Pitt in which he plays a bitter, washed-up hit man, too drunk to do his job. He was typically perfect in the role and like Tony Soprano, he made you feel strongly for this really awful man who has done many bad things … he made you see the human being. Really astonishing, but typical of his post-Sopranos roles in which he returned to being the character actor that he always prided in being. He was an actor’s actor and for fans of excellent cinema he will be sorely missed.

Much has been written and tweeted about Mr. Gandolfini this week, his skills as an actor, his active support of wounded Iraq/Afghanistan troops, and the fact that he was reportedly a really decent man, treating people with respect, warmth and kindness. And much has been written about the Tony Soprano character he created and the complexity he brought to this amoral monster of a man. That he could make us root for this man is a testimony to his skills as an actor.

He was almost always cast as tough guys or authority figures of some kind, and his imposing stature suited that well. But it was the humanity and the vulnerability he brought to his roles that I will always remember, and what I will really miss. I’ll miss getting excited about seeing his name in the opening credits because I knew I was about to see something special.

From the imposing general in the hilarious In The Loop to Carol, the kindly but troubled creature in Where The Wild Things Are, I could rattle off my favorite James Gandolfini roles. But I wanted to salute James Gandolfini not with a clip from The Sopranos or any of his films, but with this clip from Sesame Street, of all places, in which James Gandolfini teaches kids that it’s okay to be scared. Look at this big man tenderly holding a Muppet and then try to think of Tony Soprano.

Rest In Peace, James Gandolfini. Truly one of the greats.

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About Stephen Kelly Creative

Hi, I'm Stephen Kelly, a writer, editor, photographer and graphic designer living in beautiful San Francisco, CA, USA. Amongst the things I love are writing, photography, movies, music, fitness, travel, Batman, all things Australian, food and fun, all of which I hope to reflect in this here blog. Welcome aboard ... now let's get busy!
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4 Responses to R.I.P James Gandolfini

  1. Angeline M says:

    This is great! I left off watching Sesame Street when the kids got past that stage…maybe I need to go back and start watching it again!

  2. eak108@comcast.net says:

     

    I am so amazed with your writing abilities and the wonderful tribute your expressed  for James Gandolofini should be viewed by all readers on any periodical. 

    I still can’t over the fact that this great actor and man is no longer with us. 

     

    Since you switched to Comcast and can now get more channels, if you can get Bravo,” Inside Actors Studio”, repeated the program when Gandolofini was a guest.

    He was a very sincere and honest person.  If you and Spender are considering getting a flat screen, a 40″ or 42″ would be fine for your apartment.  Mine is a 40″.  With the larger screen, you’ll enjoy all your sports channels and enjoy    its clarity and size.

     

    You can pot the basil in soil.  Get some potting soil and make sure the pot has holes on the bottom and don’t overwater the plant.  Pinch off those flowers since they rob the leaves’ growth and keep in a sunny location.  A medium sized pot should be good enough – the more you pinch off the leaves, the fuller the plant will become.

     

    Thanks for the Nikon instructions.  I will play around with my camera until I get it right. 

     

    I would welcome the fog here since we are going into a heat wave this week – in the 90’s with high humidity.  I do have the air conditioner, but when I had it maintained, the tech told me to run it to death since it’s on its last leg.  I’m, going to try to get through the summer without using it too much.  Getting a new a/c will cost bucks and I have to watch my pennies now. 

     

    I’ve never had Japanese cuisine and would love to experience the food with you when and if I get out there to SF.

     

    Oh yeah, this  coming Sunday will be the last Mass said at St. Cyril’s.  Our new bishop is closing many churches and merging them with others.  It seems like the diocese is out of money and by closing and merging, much money will be saved.  St. Cyril parishioners will now have to go to St. Philomena’s in Lansdowne for Mass.  There will be a special Mass for the closing at Cyril’s, Frank and I are going to it.  I’m sure the church will have a large attendance of former parishioners and present ones.  It’s a sad event.  So many memories I have of that Church with your guys at school and all special events.  The bishop admitted that most of the money went for legal fees for those priests with pedophile cases.

     

    That’s it for now.  Let me know how your plants are doing.

    Love, Mom

     

     

     

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