Actor James Gandolfini Dead at 51

Published 06/20 2013 10:27AM

Updated 06/20 2013 10:30AM

(NBC News) Actor James Gandolfini died Wednesday of an apparent heart attack in Rome.

Sources say the actor was in Italy to appear at the Taormina film festival on Thursday. 

Gandolfini was an imposing screen presence, using his New Jersey roots to play sympathetic wise-guys and complex anti-heroes.

His best known role, conflicted mob-boss Tony Soprano earned him three Emmy's and a Golden Globe.

After the show ended in 2007 Gandolfini continued his relationship with HBO, producing a documentary about veterans of the Iraq war. 

On the big screen Gandolfini's credits include "Zero Dark Thirty", "Killing Them Softly," and most recently "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" 

James Gandolfini was 51.

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