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Actor James Gandolfini dies in Italy at age 51

Los Angeles, UNITED STATES: (FILES) In this 12 March 2000 file photo, US actor James Gandolfini accepts the award for best actor in a television drama series for his role in "The Sopranos" at the Sixth Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG) in Los Angeles. Millions of fans of the US television mafia series "The Sopranos" anxiously awaited the hit drama's final episode on 10 June 2007 amid a flurry of speculation over the fate of its top mobster, Tony Soprano played by Gandolfini.      AFP PHOTO /Lucy NICHOLSON/FILES (Photo credit should read LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP/Getty Images) (LUCY NICHOLSON, 2007 AFP)
(FILES) In this 12 March 2000 file photo (LUCY NICHOLSON, 2007 AFP)
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Updated: 6/19/2013 9:06 pm
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- HBO and James Gandolfini's managers say the actor famous for his role in "The Sopranos" has died in Italy.

The cable channel, and managers Mark Armstrong and Nancy Sanders, say the 51-year-old Gandolfini (gan-dahl-FEE'-nee) died Wednesday while on holiday in Rome.

In a statement, HBO called the actor a great talent and a gentle and loving person.

Gandolfini played conflicted mob boss Tony Soprano in the groundbreaking HBO series that aired from 1999 to 2007.

His film credits included "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Killing Them Softly," and he appeared in the Broadway production "God of Carnage."

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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