James Gandolfini Trivia
Birth name: James Gandolfini
Place of birth: 18 September 1961
Place of birth: Westwood, New Jersey, USA
Height: 6′ 0½” (1.84 m)
Spouse: Deborah Lin (30 August 2008 – present), Marcy Wudarski, (March 1999 – 18 December 2002) (divorced) 1 child.
- His sister Johanna is a prominent official with the New Jersey Family Court system.
- Graduated from Park Ridge High School, Park Ridge, New Jersey (1979).
- Attended Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
- He plays the trumpet and saxophone.
- Although he often plays thuggish or brute characters, he is actually somewhat of a pacifist off-stage; he had reservations about continuing his production contract as Tony in “The Sopranos” (1999) due to the show’s violent content and stereotype of Italian-Americans.
- TV mobster James Gandolfini turned to the right side of the law when he saw a woman being mugged in his native New York recently. Gandolfini plays Mob wiseguy Tony Soprano in hit TV show The Sopranos. So passers-by were shocked to see the tough-guy step in and rescue a woman when she was knocked down and had her bag snatched whilst walking down a dimly lit street. [November 2001]
- Named one of E!’s “top 20 entertainers of 2001.”
- Originally cast in the Carl Hanratty role in Catch Me If You Can (2002) but had to drop out due to the Sorpranos.
- Financed the construction of a restaurant called Vines in Oneonta, New York for his childhood pal Clive Griffiths, who needed the money to launch it. Griffiths has since paid him back, and then some.
- Used to bartend in Manhattan during years as struggling actor.
- Lost more than 40 pounds for his role in The Mexican (2001), but had to gain it all back before shooting for the HBO series “Sopranos, The” (1999) because executives didn’t believe the audience would like a “skinny” Tony.
- Well trained in Krav Maga, (an Israeli style of Martial Arts) which he practiced for 2 1/2 years.
- In Crimson Tide, James refers to Robert Mitchum and Cary Grant, two actors he also references in The Sopranos.
- Became engaged to Lora Somoza [January 2004]
- Says he is nothing like Tony Soprano in real life, describing his own personality as being more like a “260-pound Woody Allen.”
- Has co-starred with John Travolta in four movies: Get Shorty (1995), She’s So Lovely (1997), A Civil Action (1998), and Lonely Hearts (2006).
- Was voted “best-looking” in high school
- Is friends with former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani.
- Once worked as a bouncer.
- For his role as Eddie Poole in 8mm, Gandolfini met a variety of real porn directors and producers to get a feel for there line of work and to get a taste of their personalities, and is said to have loosely based his character on several of them.
- In “Crimson Tide” he played an officer on the U.S.S. Alabama. In “True Romance”, he beats up a woman named Alabama, played by Patricia Arquette.
- Became engaged to Lora Somoza in January 2004. Broke up, amicably, in February 2005.
- Has often said Robert De Niro played a considerable role in his decision to become an actor; grew up watching “Mean streets” over and over again.
- On August 30, 2008, Gandolfini married his girlfriend, former model Deborah Lin, in her hometown of Honolulu, Hawaii, after dating her for two years. Gandolfini has one child with his ex-wife, Marcy Wudarski, from whom he was divorced in December 2002.
- In June 2010, it was announced that Gandolfini would be executive producing an HBO film about Ernest Hemingway and his relationship with Martha Gellhorn titled Hemingway & Gellhorn and starring Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman. Philip Kaufman will direct the film, which was written by Barbara Turner and Jerry Stahl, and will reportedly begin shooting in 2011.