James Gandolfini’s son Michael Gandolfini is honoring his father’s legacy over ten years after his untimely passing in 2013.
Michael, 24, previously carried on his father’s legacy, particularly that of Tony Soprano’s, through the HBO series’ prequel film The Many Saints of Newark, in which he starred as the young mafia don growing up in New Jersey in the 1960s.
Now, as the legendary series marks its milestone 25th anniversary, the young actor is celebrating with his father’s former co-stars.
On Wednesday, Michael – who is the spitting image of his father – stepped out for an anniversary event in New York City, alongside his girlfriend Mia Healy.
While there, he also posed for photos with The Sopranos alum Kathrine Narducci, who starred as Artie Bucco (John Ventimiglia)’s wife, Charmaine Bucco.
James – whose performance of Tony has often been hailed as one of the most influential contributions to television history – died suddenly aged 51 on June 19, 2013, during a vacation in Rome with his family. He was in Italy for the Taormina Film Festival, where he was set to receive an award.
His son Michael was the one to find him unconscious in the bathroom of their hotel room at the Boscolo Exedra, after they’d spent the day sightseeing in intense heat. An autopsy later confirmed he died of a heart attack.
Michael’s mom Marcy Wudarski was married to the late actor from 1999 to 2002; he subsequently married former Hawai’ian actress Deborah Lin in 2008, with whom he shared one daughter, Liliane, born in October 2012.
Ahead of the release of The Many Saints of Newark in 2021, Michael – who grew up on the set of The Sopranos – opened up to WSJ. Magazine about properly studying his dad’s work for the first time to accurately portray his most iconic character.
The experience brought an onslaught of bittersweet feelings, and he explained: “Just watching for the first time. Seeing my dad and seeing how good my dad was – which pissed me off in some regard and made me feel so proud.”
He added: “I was so happy for him and also thinking back to growing up on the set. And then having to just clear all… the junk. All the crap… laughing so hard and crying. It felt so good to get it all out.”
Michael also explained to People at the time that while he agrees he looks like his dad, he didn’t “have the gestures” that belonged to Tony Soprano, noting: “I don’t have the accent, the way he uses his eyes. All those things are things I wanted to develop, because if I could get his physicality, I might be able to have more leeway to do what I want emotionally.”
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