'Sopranos' Star James Gandolfini Dead at 51

James Gandolfini. photo: Barry Wetcher

James Gandolfini has reportedly died of a heart attack in Italy.

James Gandolfini — who famously played Tony Soprano on “The Sopranos” — reportedly died earlier today in Italy … TMZ has learned.

Gandolfini is believed to have suffered a heart attack, this according to Deadline.com. He was 51.

Gandolfini was in Italy to attend the 59th Taormina Film Festival in Sicily — and he was scheduled to participate in a festival event this weekend with Italian director Gabriele Muccino.

Gandolfini shot to fame playing a hitman in the 1993 hit “True Romance” … and quickly became a Hollywood legend when he was cast as Tony Soprano in 1999.  He won 3 Emmy awards for the role during the show’s 6 season run.

Gandolfini also appeared in a ton of huge movies including “Get Shorty,” “The Mexican” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”

We last spoke to Gandolfini last month in L.A. — he was in great spirits, making funny faces and joking about a “Sopranos” movie.

So sad.

via TMZ

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