James Gandolfini's untimely death at the age of 51 was as shocking as the abrupt cut-to-black conclusion of his most famous series, "The Sopranos."
Although most people became familiar with the imposing-looking Italian American actor after seeing him play the tough-guy mob boss Tony Soprano on HBO from 1999 to 2007, he had a successful career as a character actor on film long before that.
For those curious to see some of his best work outside the mob confines of northern New Jersey, here are 10 of Gandolfini's most memorable roles.
"True Romance," 1993: Gandolfini had only a few screen credits to his name when he shared a short but memorable scene with heartthrob-on-the-rise
"Crimson Tide," 1995: Tony Scott had an eye for acting talent, and his second film with Gandolfini also featured many other unknown faces who would go on to great heights, including Viggo Mortensen, Steve Zahn and
"Get Shorty," 1995:
"A Civil Action," 1998: Though by now he'd cultivated an impressive career playing tough guys, thugs and heavies, Gandolfini subverted expectations by playing an average working-class guy, wronged by the company he worked for in director Steven Zaillian's 1998 drama. Once again, Gandolfini appeared opposite Travolta.
"The Sopranos," 1999-2007: Gandolfini was just 37 years old when he began filming this HBO original series about a mobster seeking therapy for his issues with his mother, but he seemed as though he'd lived a lifetime. His layered, deeply felt portrayal of Tony Soprano turned Gandolfini into a household name and earned him multiple awards and nominations, including three Emmys for lead actor in a drama series.
"The Man Who Wasn't There," 2001: Gandolfini joined the small but elite group of actors interesting enough to appear in one of Joel and
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