Celebrities React to James Gandolfini's passing

Jun 20, 2013 -- 7:09am

Sadly, James Gandolfini passed away yesterday at the age of 51. Here are some statements from his fellow Celebrities

"Sopranos" creator David Chase:  "He was a genius.  He's one of the greatest actors of this or any time . . . He wasn't easy sometimes.  But he was my partner . . . he was my brother in ways I can't explain, and never will be able to explain."

"Sopranos" star and E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt:  "I have lost a brother and a best friend.  The world has lost one of the greatest actors of all time."  Steven played Silvio Dante on the show . . . the owner of the Bada Bing strip club.

"Sopranos" star Lorraine Bracco:  "We lost a giant today.  I am utterly heartbroken."  Lorraine played Tony Soprano's shrink, Jennifer Melfi, on the show.

"Sopranos" star Joe Gannascoli:  "Fifty-one and leaves a kid.  He was newly married.  His son is fatherless now . . . It's way too young."  You know Joe as Vito Spatafore, who was secretly gay, on the show.  .

"Sopranos" star Steve Schirripa, who was at a Yankees game when he heard the news:  "I had to get up and leave.  It was like being told a brother had died.  He was as great a friend as he was an actor and a human being . . .

"The phone hasn't stopped.  I spoke to a lot of the guys from 'The Sopranos'.  We were crying.  People joke about us being a family.  But we ARE a family."

Jeff Daniels . . . who co-starred with James in the 2009 Broadway production of "God of Carnage":  "If Broadway has a version of a guy you want in your foxhole, [he] was mine.  During our time together in 'God of Carnage', we played 320 performances together.  He didn't miss one.  Sadly, I now miss him like a brother."

Gilles Marini:  "R.I.P James Gandolfini.  Was an honor to teach your son soccer and to have known you.  You were such a great man and father.  #Heartbroken." And on Facebook, Gilles added, quote, "Last Saturday, he told me at our kids' graduation that he was so happy to go with his son to Italy.  A boy trip!  It was an honor to have met this man, such a great Dad!"

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie:  "James Gandolfini's passing is an awful shock.  He was a fine actor, a Rutgers alum and a true Jersey guy."

Kevin Smith:  "Your iconic portrayal of mob boss Tony Soprano gave soul to a monster and fostered perverse pride in the Garden State!"

Ricky Gervais:  "Damn.  RIP James Gandofini.  An amazing actor that made arguably the greatest drama of all time, & a funny, sweet, gentle giant off screen."

Ewan McGregor:  "Jesus.  The world just lost one of its great actors.  James Gandolfini has passed away.  Thoughts to his family.  Such a talent.  I'm saddened."

B.J. Novak:  "James Gandolfini on 'Inside the Actors Studio' [is] one of the most inspiring interviews about acting I have ever seen."

Kathy Griffin:  "RIP Mr. Gandolfini.  If you have [a few minutes, please] enjoy this story about my run-in with this GREAT talent."  (She linked to this video from her stand-up routine, where she talks about meeting James.  WARNING:  It contains UNCENSORED PROFANITY, but you'll be glad you watched it.)

Rose McGowan:  "I'm heartbroken about James Gandolfini.  He was a gentle giant and great man.  I love this picture, I loved him."  (And she included this picture of her and James.)

Nancy Sinatra:  "James Gandolfini.  My favorite picture from my Sopranos shoot, hugged by a big teddy bear.  Shocking, brutally sad loss.  (She included a picture of her and James, but you can't really see either of their faces.)

And JOURNEY!:  "It's truly an honor to have been able to share one of the greatest moments ever in TV history with James Gandolfini.  He was an amazing actor . . . taken way too young . . . and he'll be missed.  Our condolences go out to his family."

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