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‘Sopranos’ Stars, Fans React to Death of James Gandolfini

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"Sopranos" stars Lorraine Bracco And James Gandolfini.  (credit: Getty Images)

“Sopranos” stars Lorraine Bracco And James Gandolfini. (credit: Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES (CBSDC/AP) — James Gandolfini’s fans and colleagues are reacting to his death Wednesday. The actor best known for his portrayal of Tony Soprano in the hit HBO series “The Sopranos” died of a suspected heart attack in Italy.

“We lost a giant today. I am utterly heartbroken,” said Lorraine Bracco who played opposite Gandolfini as Dr. Jennifer Melfi on the mafia series.

More reaction:

— “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. He was my partner. … He was my brother in ways I can’t explain and never will be able to explain.” — David Chase, creator of “The Sopranos.”

- “My heart is broken and my heart goes out to his family and his children. He was one of the most generous and supportive people I’ve ever known. I looked up to Jim. He inspired me.” – John Ventimiglia, starred as Artie Bucco on “The Sopranos.” (via NY Daily News)

— “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.” — Jeff Daniels.

— “The great James Gandolfini passed away today. Only 51. I can’t believe it.” — Bette Midler on Twitter.

— “It’s an awful shock. James Gandolfini was a fine actor, a Rutgers alum and a true Jersey guy. I was a huge fan of his and the character he played so authentically, Tony Soprano. I have gotten to know Jimmy and many of the other actors in the Sopranos cast and I can say that each of them are an individual New Jersey treasure.” — New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

— “James Gandolfini what a nice guy, so funny and sweet. He will be sorely missed. Our deepest condolences to his family.” — Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry on Twitter.

— “I am heartbroken about James Gandolfini. He was a gentle giant and great man. I love this picture, I loved him.” — Actress Rose McGowan, who posted a snapshot of her and Gandolfini on Twitter.

— “My condolences to the family and all those who loved James Gandolfini – a true NJ Great and NJ Original. RIP.” — Newark Mayor Cory Booker on Twitter.

— “Jimmy was one of the most talented, authentic and vulnerable actors of our time. He was unorthodox and truly special in so many ways. He had the sex appeal of Steve McQueen or Brando in his prime as well as the comedic genius of Jackie Gleason.” — Brad Grey, a producer of “The Sopranos.”

— “You will be missed greatly James Gandolfini Maybe best actor ever on a tv series. Salute'” — Comedian Artie Lange on Twitter.

— “awful awful news. James Gandolfini will be missed. He was a great actor. Just great.” — Mia Farrow on Twitter.

— “James Gandolfini. Unbelievably sad news. A fine man.” — Steve Carell on Twitter.

—”My thoughts and prayers go out to James Gandolfini’s family. An extraordinary actor. RIP, Mr. Gandolfini.” — Robin Williams on Twitter..

— “Fifty-one and leaves a kid — he was newly married. His son is fatherless now … It’s way too young.” — Joe Gannascoli, who played Vito Spatafore on “The Sopranos.”

— “James Gandolfini.. So talented, so nice and far too young to be taken away. You will be missed Sir” — Actress Shannen Doherty on Twitter.

— “I have lost a brother and a best friend. The world has lost one of the greatest actors of all time.” — Musician Steven Van Zandt.

— “R.I.P. James Gandolfini. Such a great actor. More than just tony soprano and that would have been a lot on its own.” — Musician Rob Thomas on Twitter.

— “I am so deeply saddened by the untimely passing of sweet James Gandolfini! My heart is broken for his family!! I’m in shock worked with him in “Surviving Christmas”” — Christina Applegate on Twitter.

— “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. worked with him on “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone”” — Olivia Wilde on Twitter.

— “The Rutgers University community mourns the sad and sudden loss of James Gandolfini, a 1983 Rutgers graduate who was inducted into the Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2004. Mr. Gandolfini was a proud and passionate supporter of the university for many years. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Gandolfini’s family.” — Statement from Rutgers University in New Jersey.

— “We came in honor of him. I’ve never been here, so this was a way to honor him.” — North Arlington, N.J., resident Sheryl Martin, who with her husband was visiting nearby Holsten’s, the restaurant where the last episode of “The Sopranos” was shot.

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(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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