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Thursday, June 20, 2013

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A Table for Tony

Holsten's, the Bloomfield, N.J. diner that served as the backdrop for the final scene of The Sopranos, paid tribute to James Gandolfini last night. The actor died yesterday at the age of 51. Here is Matt Zoller Seitz remembering Gandolfini over at Vulture:

Anybody who had even the slightest contact with Gandolfini will testify to what a great guy he was, how full of life he was, how extraordinary he made other people feel. Yes, absolutely, he had problems – with drink, with drugs, with women, probably with lots of other things, for all we know – but so does everybody, to one degree or another. But whether he was feeling well or poorly, or living smartly or stupidly, there was always something about the guy that you wanted to embrace.

You could feel it shining through the screen, that warmth and vulnerability, that broken yet still-hopeful humanness.



80 Comments / Post A Comment

testingwithfire

Thanks for posting this. I didn't hear about JG's passing till this morning at work and had to retire to the restroom for about 10 minutes so I could sob in private. I don't often cry on hearing about a celebrity's death but JG was different as all the articles attest.

Drawn7979

@testingwithfire
RIP, he's a great actor.

cosmia

Usually I don't really get too affected about a celebrity's death beyond "Oh, that's too bad", but something about this one is really upsetting me. I feel like it's because in his performances he always so seems so alive and powerful, it's hard to think of anything otherwise.

fabel

I think that's it, too... this one really, REALLY upset me. Usually I just feel an initial shock & weirdness after hearing about a celebrity death, but I'm legitimately tears-pricking-my-eyes upset about James Gandolphini. (I'm also from NJ, so maybe that's why?) My FB feed was crazy last night.

hallelujah

@cosmia Yeah, I have no connection really to him or his work (except for loving the Sopranos, which, obviously), but this bummed me out so hard. I think it's that he was only 51. 51! I know so many people that age, and they are far, far too young to die!

supernintendochalmers

@cosmia This one really got to me, too, probably as a Jersey girl. He was just such an iconic Jersey guy and such a fucking great actor. He had that tough guy veneer but brought vulnerability and raw emotion to every role he played. I just felt like there were so many great performances ahead of him.

Heat Signature

@cosmia Me too! My husband told me Gandolfini died this morning and I was pretty upset. He was such an amazing actor. I mean, he made you have feelings for a homicidal womanizer.

Hellcat

@fabel Yeah, it was nuts on FB! Before I looked, I actually accused my FB-reading BF of making it up (though why would he do that...so random). Then I posted just, "ON NO HE DID NOT!" (no name, no link) and I was shocked at how many people just knew what in hell I was talking about.

I feel so strangely sad about this one too and have no idea why it's different than other celebrity passings. Maybe it is a Jersey thing?

C_Webb

@Hellcat Sad that his baby girl will never know him :-(

Hellcat

@C_Webb I know. I wonder if he's a cool dad. I bet he would be.

Scandyhoovian

I'm not hugely familiar with his work, having never seen the Sopranos (or, apparently nearly any movie he's been in since The Crimson Tide?), but 51 is far, far too young to die.

carolinaclay

It sounds a lot better live! :)
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royaljunk

I was shocked to hear he'd died (51! 51!!!) but I'm also really unhappy with a lot of media coverage I've seen that's turned his death into an excuse to concern troll fat people's health. :/

cosmia

@royaljunk Any time the media makes someone's death an excuse to concern troll makes me super grossed out. Aren't heart conditions mostly heredity, anyway?

flimflannery

@royaljunk Larry King (totally known for his relevance and insightful commentary aka only person CNN could find) said "well, James liked his food and couldn't push himself away from the table". Ugh, it's awful what people say.

royaljunk

@flimflannery *flips a table*

fondue with cheddar

@royaljunk Ugh, right? Of course he died because he was fat. The drugs and the drinking had no effect whatsoever on his health.

eoporto

@fondue with cheddar I didn't know he had either a drug or drinking problem.

fondue with cheddar

@eoporto I didn't either, though I really don't know much about him in general. But Seitz said he did, so maybe he did. I didn't read the piece.

cosmia

@eoporto I believe that he used to, but was currently sober :(

ellochka

Ahh, so weird. My mom taught nearby, and as a treat, she'd take me to Holsten's for ice cream or a grilled cheese, and if I was REALLY good, maybe some of their store-made candy. I've sat in that booth.

So basically, I'm having some feels about this.

ellochka

@ellochka And said feels are not really appropriate in the event of someone's untimely death, so I have additional guilty feels for being all nostalgic.

purefog

@ellochka
Disagreed. it is perfectly natural for someone's untimely death to make a person reflect on mortality, including one's own mortality, which necessarily involves thinking back to some degree over one's own life. No guilt necessary!

lalaladododo

@ellochka I'm feeling similarly. Holsten's was a special treat for me as a kid, too.

polka dots vs stripes

Like everyone above, I normally don't get too sad about celebrity deaths beyond "Oh that's too bad, I loved XYZ they did" but yeah, as a NJ native, Rutgers alum, Italian-American, in the middle of watching the Sopranos for the first time, literally JUST watched In the Loop again recently, how young!!! he was, I'm pretty upset.

Life is short, make it count.

pajamaralls

The Sopranos was a passive-bonding thing for me and my dad. Passive as in, we didn't really talk about it, or discuss what was going on in the show. But we both loved it.

Also, shout out to parents who let their pre-teen daughters have HBO in their rooms.

lolyly

Usually I don't really get too affected about a celebrity's death beyond "Oh, that's too bad", but something about this one is really upsetting me. I feel like it's because in his performances he always so seems so alive and powerful, it's hard to think of anything otherwise.

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