In 2013, the world was shocked when the news broke that 51-year-old actor James Gandolfini, star of the hit TV drama The Sopranos, died in his Rome hotel room of a heart attack. Few were as blindsided and upset as the tight-knit Sopranos cast and crew, including Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who portrayed his daughter, Meadow Soprano.
Jamie-Lynn tells Oprah: Where Are They Now? that she has nothing but the fondest memories of her onscreen father. “James Gandolfini was one of the most humble human beings I’ve ever met, but also just one of the most powerful presences I’ve ever been around,” Jamie-Lynn says. “He didn’t even realize, I think, the strength and light that he brought into every room that he walked into.”
She says she got the dreaded call from Vincent Curatola, the actor who played Johnny “Sack” Sacramoni. After shedding many tears, she boarded HBO’s private plane alongside the other California-based cast members to fly to New York for his funeral. “It was surreal because, How many times had we done funeral scenes as a cast?” Jamie-Lynn says. “To sort of lay to rest sort of our leader. He was the sun and we were the planets all around him. You know? So, the whole Sopranos life really came to an end at that moment.”