Pop-Culture Expert: James Gandolfini Was a Commanding Presence in Hollywood


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James Gandolfini, the New Jersey-bred actor best known for his Emmy award-winning portrayal as a mob boss in HBO’s, “The Sopranos,” died today while vacationing in Italy. Texas Tech’s pop culture expert says Gandolfini exemplified the modern gangster.

Quotes• “Just like Marlon Brando and Al Pacino before him, James Gandolfini was the iconic top mob-boss.”• “Whether he was portraying gangster or a patriarch, Gandolfini’s character always featured a commanding presence, and yet there always seemed to be tenderness underneath.” • “He portrayed characters with tremendous depth and charm, analyzing situations from all angles that often kept viewers guessing which direction he would go.”• “In terms of casting ‘The Sopranos,’ James Gandolfini was the crown jewel.”

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