Six years after actor James Gandolfini’s death, he continues to loom large in his son Michael’s life.
“6 years is too long. Every year without you is,” Michael wrote Wednesday on Instagram. “But I know you’re around. Miss you. More than anything. In this particular second it’s your laugh that I miss most. I love you so so much. We celebrate you today. Working hard to make you proud, I know you are, but I’ll never stop working at it. Love you dad.”
The elder Gandolfini, best known for his Emmy-winning turn as mobster Tony Soprano on HBO’s The Sopranos, died of a heart attack during a trip to Rome on June 19, 2013. He was 51.
Those who respected and adored James, including some of his co-workers, offered kind words to Michael.
Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who played James’s TV daughter, Meadow Soprano, on the show’s entire 86-episode run, wrote simply, “Oh,” with several heart emojis.
Actor Jerry Ferrera, who dated Sigler and starred in HBO’s Entourage, complimented Michael on the photo he chose to share. “Great pic Michael. You’ve made him very proud. More to come,” Ferrera wrote.
Actor Domenick Lombardozzi, who’s appeared in several HBO shows, including The Wire, assured Michael that he was sending positive vibes. “He’s definitely smiling down and very proud,” Lombardozzi wrote.
John Ortiz, who’s appeared in HBO’s Luck and Togetherness, said he was doing the same. He added, “His laugh was the greatest.”
Others shared sweet stories, too.
Stunt coordinator Mark Riccardi remembers the elder Gandolfini’s thoughtful gesture when they had worked together. “A day I won’t forget only my 2nd film w JT at wrap your pops found me and ran over to my truck thanked me for a great day and gave me a bottle of JW Red .. class act.. never forgot that moment,” Riccardi commented.
A fan offered a secondhand account of the late star’s good behavior off-set: “Years ago a friend of mine was at a bar and was lucky enough to meet your dad there. A bunch of them played pool and hung out for awhile. I remember they said he was a normal guy, fun to hang with. No ego, just a cool guy.”
Someone else piped up, “As I sit here watching the Sopranos… thinking how great of an actor your father truly was! You have made him and I am certain you continue to do so.”
Since his father’s death, Michael has become an actor in his own right, with several notable credits to his name. He portrayed Joey Dwyer in HBO’s The Deuce and, most notably, will play a younger version of his dad’s iconic character in next year’s Sopranos prequel, The Many Saints of Newark.
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