AP PHOTOS: The career of James Gandolfini

June 19, 2013 - 11:34 PM
Obit James Gandolfini

This undated photo, provided by HBO, shows James Gandolfini, as Tony Soprano, left, Robert Iler, as Anthony Soprano Jr., right, and Edie Falco as Carmela Soprano in the last scene of the HBO series, "The Sopranos." Gandolfini, whose portrayal of a brutal, emotionally delicate mob boss in HBO's "The Sopranos" helped create one of TV's greatest drama series and turned the mobster stereotype on its head, died Wednesday, June 19, 2013 in Italy. He was 51.(AP Photo/HBO, Will Hart, File)

James Gandolfini, who won three Emmy Awards for his indelible role as mob boss Tony Soprano in HBO's "The Sopranos," died while on vacation in Italy at age 51. While Tony Soprano was a larger-than-life figure, Gandolfini was exceptionally modest and obsessive — he described himself as "a 260-pound Woody Allen." HBO called the actor a "special man, a great talent, but more importantly a gentle and loving person who treated everyone, no matter their title or position, with equal respect."

Gandolfini's performance in "The Sopranos" was career-making, but he worked steadily in film and on stage after the series ended. He earned a 2009 Tony Award nomination for his role in the celebrated production of "God of Carnage." He played Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in Kathryn Bigelow's Osama bin Laden hunt docudrama "Zero Dark Thirty." Here are some images that celebrate Gandolfini's career.