James Gandolfini is widely recognized for his three-time Primetime Emmy-winning portrayal of crime boss Tony Soprano on the iconic HBO drama The Sopranos. A mobster who turned to psychotherapy to cope with the stresses of his job and family, Tony Soprano was a character unlike any seen before on television, and Gandolfini’s performance brought him both fame and acclaim. Like his best-known character, Gandolfini was a native of New Jersey. He was born September 18, 1961, in the town of Westwood and grew up in Park Ridge. After graduating from Rutgers University, he worked as a bartender and club manager before pursuing a career as an actor in New York City. Gandolfini reportedly died on June 19, 2013, while traveling in Italy. He was 51. The esteemed actor is believed to have suffered a heart attack while en route to the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily, according to news reports.