James Gandolfini played Jamie-Lynn Sigler’s on-screen father for six seasons on The Sopranos, and now the actress is speaking out about his untimely death.
In a statement released to Life & Style, Jamie-Lynn says, “This news has left me heartbroken. I can only imagine the pain his family feels at this time, and my heart goes out to them, especially Deborah [his wife], Michael [his teenage son] and Liliana [his 8-month-old daughter].”
On Wednesday, it was revealed that the 51-year-old actor had passed away from a massive heart attack while vacationing in Italy.
NEWS: Sopranos Star James Gandolfini Dead at 51
Jamie-Lynn goes on to reminisce about the time she spent working with James, who famously played mob boss Tony Soprano.
“I spent 10 years of my life studying and admiring one of the most brilliant actors, yes, but more importantly one of the greatest men,” says the star, who’s expecting her first child with fiancé Cutter Dykstra. “Jim had the ability, unbeknownst to him, to make you feel like everything would be alright if he was around.”
She finishes her statement, “I treasure my memories with him and feel so honored that I was an up close witness to his greatness.”
Other Sopranos co-stars have also issued statements since James’ passing, including Michael Imperioli, who played Tony’s protégé Christopher Moltisanti, and Edie Falco.
Co-Stars and Pals React to Sopranos Star James Gandolfini's Death
“I am shocked and devastated by Jim's passing,” said Edie, who played Tony’s wife, Carmela Soprano. “He was a man of tremendous depth and sensitivity, with a kindness and generosity beyond words. I consider myself very lucky to have spent 10 years as his close colleague. My heart goes out to his family. As those of us in his pretend one hold on to the memories of our intense and beautiful time together. The love between Tony and Carmela was one of the greatest I've ever known."