James Gandolfini


Date Of Birth

September 18, 1961


Three-time Emmy award-winner James Gandolfini was born on September 18, 1961. The Italian-American actor is known for portraying sinister, unforgettable roles on the big screen. Before being cast as Tony Soprano, his most famous role in the hit HBO drama series The Sopranos, he played Eddie Poole in the move 8mm, and Virgil the mob enforcer in True Romance. His more recent screen credits include All the King’s Men alongside Sean Penn and Jude Law with director Steve Zaillian, Lonely Hearts with John Travolta and Salma Hayek; Romance and Cigarettes with Susan Sarandon and Kate Winslet; and Zero Dark Thirty where he played a C.I.A. Director.

The son of a school nutritionist and a building maintenance chief, both Italian immigrants Gandolfini grew up in Park Ridge, New Jersey. He graduated from park Ridge High School in 1979, where he played basketball and acted. He went on to get a degree in communications from Rutgers University, where he worked as a bouncer at an on-campus pub. He was introduced to the world of acting when he accompanied a friend to an acting class in New York City.

Gandolfini made his Broadway debut with the 1992 revival of A Streetcar Named Desire with Alec Baldwin and Jessica Lange. This was followed by one of his more famous roles in the 1997 romantic thriller True romance as a brutal mob enforcer. He then played a two-faced insurance man in Terminal Velocity in 1997, a mob enforcer with a conscience in The Juror, and an ex-stuntman in Get Shorty. Despite the slew of mob roles, he considered himself a pacifist and in fact has reservations over these portrayals. He supported the Octoberwoman Foundation for Brest Cancer Research in his home town of Park Ridge. He married Marcy Wudarski but the two divorced in December 2002 after rearing one child. He then married former model Deborah Lin on August 2008 in her hometown of Honolulu, Hawaii.

Gandolfini was set to star in the HBO series Criminal Justice but on June 19, 2013 he suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 51.

Place of Birth

Westwood, New Jersey, U.S.

Birth Name

James J. Gandolfini, Jr.



Fun Facts

-Gandolfini was also a producer who worked on documentaries that focused on war veterans.
-He was a fan of motorcycles.
-He was considered for the role of Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction.


The Sopranos:
-AFI Award for Actor of the Year - Male - TV Series (2001)
-Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama (1999)
-Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (2000, 2001, 2003)
-Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series (1999, 2002, 2007)
-Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (1999, 2007)
-TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Drama (1999, 2000, 2001)


2013 Criminal Justice (TV series)
2013 Untitled Nicole Holofcener Project
2013 Nicky Deuce (TV movie)
2013 The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
2012 Zero Dark Thirty
2012 Not Fade Away
2012 Killing Them Softly
2011 Violet & Daisy
2011 Cinema Verite (TV movie)
2011 Down the Shore
2010 Mint Julep
2010 Welcome to the Rileys
2009 Where the Wild Things Are
2009 The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3
2009 In the Loop
2007 Stories USA
1999-2007 The Sopranos (TV series)
2006 The Sopranos: Road to Respect (Video Game)
2006 Club Soda (short)
2006 All the King's Men
2006 Lonely Hearts
2005 Romance & Cigarettes
2004 Surviving Christmas
2001 The Last Castle
2001 The Man Who Wasn't There
2001 The Mexican
1999 8MM
1999 A Whole New Day (short)
1998 A Civil Action
1998 The Mighty
1998 Fallen
1997 Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
1997 Perdita Durango
1997 12 Angry Men (TV movie)
1997 She's So Lovely
1997 Gun (TV series)
1996 Night Falls on Manhattan
1996 The Juror
1995 Get Shorty
1995 Crimson Tide
1995 Le nouveau monde
1994 Terminal Velocity
1994 Angie
1993 Mr. Wonderful
1993 True Romance
1993 Money for Nothing
1993 Italian Movie
1992 A Stranger Among Us
1991 The Last Boy Scout
1987 Shock! Shock! Shock!




6' 1/2" (1.84 m)


"I'm an actor... I do a job and I go home. Why are you interested in me? You don't ask a truck driver about his job."

"I love hearing people laugh. Especially in New York, and especially now. To hear somebody out there just belly-laughing."

"I thought, I've never been the lead before. They're gonna hire somebody else. But I knew I could do it. I have small amounts of Mr. Soprano in me. I was 35, a lunatic, a madman."

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