The shocking early death of James Gandolfini has been reverberating throughout the country in recent days, including inside my own psyche.
None of us knew him, and yet his portrayal of Tony Soprano was so effective that it entered our collective consciousness to the point that his passing feels personal.
This is even more astounding given that he played a murderous thug who ruined and ended countless lives. Clearly Gandolfini was a master craftsmen to have pulled this off.
Friends from the show have recounted in recent days that “Jim” was an extraordinarily generous man — he apparently gave 16 cast members $33,000 each during season 4 when he felt they all deserved more than they got paid.
It seems unfair that the loss of one life could be so much more meaningful to us than any number of others, but such is the power of celebrity and great artistry.
RIP Jim Gandolfini