James Gandolfini, the New Jersey-bred actor who delighted audiences as mob boss Tony Soprano in “The Sopranos” has died following a massive heart attack in Italy, a source told the Daily News.
“Everyone is in tears,” the source close to the 51-year-old TV tough guy said.
A press-shy celeb who got his start as a character actor and became famous relatively late in his career — thanks to his breakout role on “The Sopranos,” Gandolfini has largely avoided the spotlight since the last season of the beloved show aired in 2007.
The burly Westwood, N.J. native has appeared in several supporting roles since then, playing the director of the CIA in “Zero Dark Thirty” and the gruff blue-collar father of a wannabe rock star in “Not Fade Away” last year.
Gandolfini hit Broadway in 2009 with the Tony Award-winning comedy “God of Carnage.”
“I seek out good stories, basically — that’s it,” he told The Star-Ledger last December.