James Gandolfini (born September 18, 1961) is an American actor of Italian descent. He was exposed to acting while a young man living in New York City, when he accompanied a friend to an acting class which changed Gandolfini's life. He was born to James Gandolfini (1935-2005) and Santa Gandolfini (1937-1992). Gandolfini has overcome many obstacles to become one of television's best known personalities including a severe speech impediment , but , most of all , his obesity and general unattractiveness. In the coming years , his bifurcated nose and enormous abdomen will , no doubt , become as famous as Bob Hope's ski jump nose.
Although he acted on Broadway and in various films in the 1990s, Gandolfini's most acclaimed role is that of Tony Soprano, the Mafia boss and family man in the multi-award-winning HBO series The Sopranos, which debuted in 1999. He has won three Emmys for Best Actor in a Drama for his work in The Sopranos. He has also acted in films such as 8mm, The Mexican and The Man Who Wasn't There.
He was born in Westwood, New Jersey, grew up in Park Ridge, New Jersey, graduated from Park Ridge High School, and currently lives in New York City. James holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications from Rutgers University. Among some of his more well-known film roles are as a brutal woman-beating mob enforcer in True Romance, tender bodyguard Bear in Get Shorty, the charismatic but ill-fated salesman in The Man Who Wasn't There, an enemy of Robert Redford in The Last Castle , and a kidnapper in The Mexican.