James Gandolfini, 'Sopranos' star, dies in Italy

Gandolfini, 51, quickly became a Hollywood legend when he was cast as Tony Soprano in 1999. He won three Emmy award for his role. Photo: The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP)/ABC 7-{ }Hospital officials in Rome say U.S. actor James Gandolfini, 51, died after suffering cardiac arrest.

But his portrayal of criminal Tony Soprano in HBO's landmark drama series "The Sopranos" was just one facet of an actor who created a rich legacy of film and stage work in a life cut short.

Gandolfini died Wednesday while vacationing in Rome, and coroner Antonio Spasola at Rome's Policlinico Umberto I hospital, in the upscale Parioli neighborhood, declined to give a cause of death. Officials at the morgue confirmed that Gandolfini was brought there.

Local residents are honoring the Jersey actor in Arlington at the Bada Bing Food Truck, named after a Tony Soprano hangout.

And at the New Jersey ice cream shop where the last scene of the Sopranos was shot, the booth where he last sat now sits empty as a tribute to the acclaimed actor.

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