Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Arrividerci, Mr. Gandolfini

Farewell, James Gandolfini. A brilliant actor, someone who wasn't afraid to embody the character of a flawed man. He died today, too young at 51.



These credits, brilliant as they are for a TV show, resonate even more with me because that route, those vistas, are landscapes that are familiar to me. My family lived in suburban New Jersey in the 1970s, and my father commuted to "the city" - Manhattan - for many years. Later, when I graduated college, I, too commuted by bus and by train to Manhattan until I found a place to live in town. Those gritty views, those bridges and tunnel walls, those aluminum-siding houses - those are all part of a landscape I knew, that I saw whizz past the windows as I traveled.

Let's not forget the rest of Mr. Gandolfini's career - because he was a truly talented actor, and also someone who cared deeply about important causes. Despite his ability to inhabit Tony Soprano's world so completely, he leaves a serious resume behind him. Go gently into that good night, Mr. Gandolfini.