Le héros de la série américaine les Soprano, James Gandolfini, était déjà mort à son arrivée mercredi soir à l’hôpital qui a toutefois tenté de le ranimer pendant 40 minutes, ont indiqué jeudi des sources sanitaires.
Le corps de l’acteur de 51 ans, qui incarnait à l’écran un boss mafieux dépressif, va être autopsié « comme c’est la pratique quand un patient arrive à l’hôpital déjà décédé », a expliqué jeudi à la presse Claudio Modini, un responsable des urgences de l’hôpital Umberto I à Rome. Selon les services sanitaires italiens, la première ambulance est arrivée huit minutes après avoir été appelée par l’hôtel Exedra, au centre de Rome, où séjournait l’acteur. Les sauveteurs ont tenté la réanimation et la ventilation mais dès le début, l’état de M. Gandolfini, victime d’un infarctus, a paru « désespéré ».
Une fois transporté à l’hôpital, les « opérations de réanimation ont continué pendant 40 minutes et la mort a été déclarée à 22H40 » (20H40 GMT), selon les sources hospitalières. Le corps se trouve dans une chambre mortuaire de l’hôpital en attendant l’autopsie prévue dans un délai de 24 heures après le décès. L’acteur devait assister samedi au festival de cinéma TaorminaFilmFest pour recevoir le Prix Ville de Taormina (Sicile) et diriger une masterclass consacrée aux grands acteurs du cinéma et de la télévision.
« Nous sommes profondément attristés, nous avions eu James Gandolfini au téléphone quelques heures plus tôt. Il était très heureux de recevoir ce prix et de son voyage en Italie« , ont expliqué le directeur éditorial du festival, Mario Sesti et la directrice générale Tiziana Rocca dans un communiqué. Ces deux responsables sont en train d’organiser « un hommage du festival à la carrière et au talent » de l’acteur américain, qui a « su mieux que quiconque interpréter la société italo-américaine avec une personnalité riche de contradictions, douleur et humour ». « Il a été l’un des visages les plus représentatifs de l’âge d’or de la télévision et un interprète mémorable aussi au cinéma », ont-ils estimé.
Les responsables de l’ambassade américaine à Rome ont diffusé un communiqué exprimant leur « profonde émotion pour la disparition prématurée » de James Gandolfini, « un Italo-Américain qui a représenté un exemple excellent de la profonde contribution culturelle des Italiens à la société américaine ». L’ambassade a précisé avoir appris la nouvelle par les médias et n’avoir « aucune confirmation officielle » mais a souligné être à disposition de la famille pour offrir toute l’assistance nécessaire si elle en fait la demande. AFP
James Gandolfini Is Dead at 51; a Complex Mob Boss in ‘Sopranos’
James Gandolfini, the Emmy Award-winning actor who shot to fame on the HBO drama “The Sopranos” as Tony Soprano, a tough-talking, hard-living crime boss with a stolid exterior but a rich interior life, died on Wednesday. He was 51.
Mr. Gandolfini’s death was confirmed by HBO. He was traveling in Rome, where he was on vacation and was scheduled to attend the Taormina Film Fest. The cause was not immediately announced; an HBO press representative said that Mr. Gandolfini may have had a heart attack. Mr. Gandolfini, who grew up in Park Ridge, in Bergen County, N.J., came to embody the resilience of the Garden State on “The Sopranos,” which made its debut in 1999 and ran for six seasons on HBO.
In its pilot episode viewers were introduced to the complicated life of Tony Soprano, a New Jersey mob kingpin who suffers panic attacks and begins seeing a psychiatrist. Over 86 episodes, audiences followed Mr. Gandolfini in the role as he was tormented by his mother (played by Nancy Marchand), his wife (Edie Falco), rival mobsters, the occasional surreal dream sequence and, in 2007, an ambiguous series finale that left millions of viewers wondering whether Tony Soprano had met his fate at a restaurant table.
The success of “The Sopranos” helped make HBO a dominant player in the competitive field of scripted television programming and transformed Mr. Gandolfini from a character actor into a star. The series, created by David Chase, won two Emmys for outstanding drama series, and Mr. Gandolfini won three Emmys for outstanding lead actor in a drama. He was nominated six times for the award.
HBO said of Mr. Gandolfini in a statement on Wednesday, “He was a special man, a great talent, but more importantly, a gentle and loving person who treated everyone no matter their title or position with equal respect.” Mr. Chase, in a statement, called Mr. Gandolfini “one of the greatest actors of this or any time,” and said, “A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes.” He added: “I remember telling him many times: ‘You don’t get it. You’re like Mozart.’ There would be silence at the other end of the phone.”
James Joseph Gandolfini Jr. was born in Westwood, N.J., on Sept. 18, 1961. His father was an Italian immigrant who held a number of jobs, including janitor, bricklayer and mason. His mother, Santa, was a high school cafeteria chef.
He attended Park Ridge High School and Rutgers University, graduating in 1983 with a degree in communications. He drove a delivery truck, managed nightclubs and tended bar in Manhattan before becoming interested in acting at age 25, when a friend took him to an acting class. He began his movie career in 1987 in the low-budget horror comedy “Shock! Shock! Shock!” In 1992 he had a small part in the Broadway revival of “A Streetcar Named Desire,” starring Alec Baldwin and Jessica Lange.
By the mid-1990s Mr. Gandolfini had made gangster roles a specialty, playing burly but strangely charming tough guys in films like “True Romance” (1993) and “The Juror” (1996). He had an impressive list of character-acting credits, but was largely unknown when Mr. Chase cast him in “The Sopranos” in 1999.
“I thought it was a wonderful script,” Mr. Gandolfini told Newsweek in 2001, recalling his audition. “I thought, ‘I can do this.’ But I thought they would hire someone a little more debonair, shall we say. A little more appealing to the eye.” “The Sopranos,” which also became a springboard for television writers like Matthew Weiner (who would later create the AMC drama “Mad Men”) and Terence Winter (who later created the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire”), drew widespread acclaim for its detailed studies of the lives of its characters, and, at its center, Mr. Gandolfini’s portrayal of Tony Soprano, who was tightly wound and prone to acts of furious violence. (He beat and choked another mobster to death for insulting the memory of his beloved deceased racehorse, to name but one example.)
Mr. Gandolfini, who had studied the Meisner technique of acting for two years, said that he used it to focus his anger and incorporate it into his performances. In an interview for the television series “Inside the Actors Studio,” Mr. Gandolfini said he would deliberately hit himself on the head or stay up all night to evoke the desired reaction. If you are tired, every single thing that somebody does makes you mad, Mr. Gandolfini said in the interview. “Drink six cups of coffee. Or just walk around with a rock in your shoe. It’s silly, but it works.”
Tony Soprano — and the 2007 finale of “The Sopranos,” which cut to black before viewers could learn what plans a mysterious restaurant patron had for Tony as he enjoyed a relaxing meal with his wife and children — would continue to follow Mr. Gandolfini throughout his career. He went on to play a series of tough guys and heavies, including an angry Brooklyn parent in the Broadway drama “God of Carnage,” for which he was nominated for a Tony Award in 2009; the director of the C.I.A. in “Zero Dark Thirty,” Kathryn Bigelow’s dramatization of the hunt for Osama bin Laden; and a hit man in the 2012 crime thriller “Killing Them Softly.”
Mr. Gandolfini also produced the documentaries “Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq” and “Wartorn: 1861-2010,” about the history of post-traumatic stress in the military.Survivors include his wife, Deborah Lin Gandolfini; a daughter, Liliana, born last year; a teenage son, Michael, from his marriage to Marcella Wudarski, which ended in divorce; and his sisters Leta Gandolfini and Johanna Antonacci. In a 2010 interview with The New York Times, Mr. Gandolfini said that he was not worried about being typecast as Tony Soprano and that he was being offered different kinds of roles as he aged. “Mostly it’s not a lot of that stuff anymore with shooting and killing and dying and blood,” he said. “I’m getting a little older, you know. The running and the jumping and killing, it’s a little past me.” Asked why he did not appear in more comedies, he answered, “Nobody’s asked.” In http://www.nytimes.com
Stars react to sudden death of James Gandolfini
Nothing shocks Hollywood like a beloved star dying too young. So it was with the news of the sudden death of actor James Gandolfini today. His many admirers rushed to Twitter and elsewhere to mourn:
Sopranos creator David Chase, in a statement: « He was a genius. Anyone who saw him even in the smallest of his performances knows that. He is one of the greatest actors of this or any time. A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes. … For Deborah and Michael and Liliana (his wife and children), this is crushing. And it’s bad for the rest of the world. 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 co-star Steven Van Zandt: « I have lost a brother and a best friend. The world has lost one of the greatest actors of all time. »
Sopranos co-star Lorraine Bracco: « We lost a giant today. I am utterly heartbroken. »
God of Carnage co-star Jeff Daniels: « If Broadway has a version of a guy you want in your foxhole, Jim Gandolfini 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. »
Jimmy Kimmel: « I’m sadder about James Gandolfini than everyone else. »
Octavia Spencer: « RIP James Gandolfini. So sad!! »
U.S. Sen. John McCain: « RIP James Gandolfini, one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met »
N.J. Gov. Chris Christie: « James Gandolfini’s passing is an awful shock. He was a fine actor, a Rutgers alum and a true Jersey guy. »
Olivia Wilde: « James Gandolfini was a kind, funny, wonderful guy. I’m so lucky to have worked with him. Sending love to his family. Such a sad, sad day. »
Nia Vardalos: « Oh James Gandolfini, you left us much too soon. »
Kristin Chenoweth: « NO. Not James Gandolfini. He was in my top 5 favorite actors EVER. »
Christina Applegate: « I am so deeply saddened by the untimely passing of sweet James Gandolfini! My heart is broken for his family!! I’m in shock »
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. »
Russell Simmons: « Not tony soprano! Damn. Such a good guy and a great actor. James, rest in peace… »
Mia Farrow: « awful awful news. James Gandolfini will be missed. He was a great actor. Just great. »
Bette Midler: « The great James Gandolfini passed away today. Only 51. I can’t believe it. »
Michael Chiklis: « James Gandolfini. This is a tremendous loss. A brilliant actor and a wonderful man. Our deepest sympathies to his family. Devastating. »
Susan Sarandon: « So sad to lose James Gandolfini. One of the sweetest, funniest, most generous actors I’ve ever worked with. Sending prayers to his family. »
Will Arnett: « So saddened by news of James Gandolfini’s death. What talent. He shall be missed. »
Rob Thomas: « R.I.P. James Gandolfini. Such a great actor. More than just tony soprano and that would have been a lot on its own.
Rainn Wilson: « Arrivederci, James Gandolfini. You were one of the great greats. We’ll miss your dangerous, big heart. »
Steve Carell: « James Gandolfini. Unbelievably sad news. A fine man. »
Wes Craven: « Farewell to the great American actor James Gandolfini. I was a huge fan. My condolences to his family and his many fans. »
Lance Bass: « So so so sad about James Gandolfini – 51 is way too young. »
Josh Groban: « Thank you James Gandolfini for some of the most brilliant tv moments of all time. So sad!!! »
Jon Lovitz: « Very sad about James Gandolfini. Met him briefly. Very nice and shy. Loved him in « Get Shorty » besides the Sopranos. RIP. »
Russell Crowe: « Sad to hear about James Gandolfini . First met Jimmy back in ’94.He was roommates in NY with Lenny Loftin. Lovely man. RIP Jimmy »
Minnie Driver: « So incredibly sad to hear about James Gandolfini. He was magic. »
Rob Lowe: « James Gandoldini gave the greatest performance in the history of television. He was also a kind man. Condolences to his family. » In http://www.usatoday.com