James Gandolfini Dead at 51

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 19 2013 7:46 PM

James Gandolfini Dead at 51

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Actor James Gandolfini attends the Keep Memory Alive foundation's 'Power of Love Gala' celebrating Muhammad Ali's 70th birthday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena February 18, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Keep Memory Alive

James Gandolfini, best known for his role as the lead in HBO's The Sopranos, died Wednesday of a likely heart attack. He was 51.

HBO confirmed the news late Wednesday to multiple media outlets, including Reuters and the Associated Press. According to the cable news channel, Gandolfini was on vacation in Rome at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife, Deborah Lin, and a son and baby daughter, reports Variety.

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Gandolfini became a star by playing mob boss Tony Soprano, a role that earned him three Emmy Awards and made him a household name. More recently he appeared in Zero Dark Thirty and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. According to Deadline, he was set to return to HBO with Criminal Justice, one of several projects he was working on.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.