James Gandolfini 1961–2013

Ed Williamson

20th June 2013

The Sopranos seems like such a long time ago. Most of the shows this website discusses could be termed part of television's "golden age", and so much success and acclaim has been found in their anti-heroic lead characters, it's easy to forget where this era all started. Don Draper, Walter White, Dexter, Nucky Thompson: none of these could have existed in the same way without Tony Soprano. James Gandolfini's performance, brutally masculine with a childlike vulnerability, paved the way for all of them, and set the tone for audiences to accept, and even root for, lead characters who do terrible things. He died yesterday at 51, which is far too young.

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