Skip to main content

Fans mourn Gandolfini: 'It's not James, it's Tony'

By Henry Hanks, CNN
June 22, 2013 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
When the news broke on Wednesday that "The Sopranos" star James Gandolfini died at 51, tributes poured in around the world, including CNN iReport. "So long, paisan" was how Orlando, Florida, resident <a href='http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-991687'>Pat Tantalo</a> chose to say goodbye to the friend he met on the set of the 2006 film "Lonely Hearts." "When Jimmy arrived, he was bigger than life. He shook everyone's hands and made sure he learned everyone's name. We were just finishing a production meeting and we introduced ourselves. We instantly connected. He planted his huge mitts on my shoulders and called me a little bull." When the news broke on Wednesday that "The Sopranos" star James Gandolfini died at 51, tributes poured in around the world, including CNN iReport. "So long, paisan" was how Orlando, Florida, resident Pat Tantalo chose to say goodbye to the friend he met on the set of the 2006 film "Lonely Hearts." "When Jimmy arrived, he was bigger than life. He shook everyone's hands and made sure he learned everyone's name. We were just finishing a production meeting and we introduced ourselves. We instantly connected. He planted his huge mitts on my shoulders and called me a little bull."
HIDE CAPTION
'So long, paisan:' Fans mourn Gandolfini
'So long, paisan:' Fans mourn Gandolfini
'So long, paisan:' Fans mourn Gandolfini
'So long, paisan:' Fans mourn Gandolfini
'So long, paisan:' Fans mourn Gandolfini
'So long, paisan:' Fans mourn Gandolfini
'So long, paisan:' Fans mourn Gandolfini
'So long, paisan:' Fans mourn Gandolfini
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>

(CNN) -- To so many of his fans and friends, he wasn't James Gandolfini, he was simply "Jimmy." In many cases he was his character on "The Sopranos," "Tony."

Gandolfini charmed so many of those he met and spent time with before his death on Wednesday at the age of 51.

Maryann Morris of Bergenfield, New Jersey, remembers a time just before he became famous on the award-winning HBO series, when he was just "that guy" (as fellow iReporter Shana O'Neil put it).

"James would come visit his dad who worked at our high school. He would talk to us kids about pretty much everything. He was so personable. We had bonded over having the same birthday when I met him."

His performances on television and film may have impressed just about anyone who watched, but it was his unassuming nature that stood out to those who met him. Check out the gallery above for more stories and memories. And if you'd like to share your memories, post them to iReport.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT