UPDATE: June 19th, 2013 8:30PM EST
We are sad to report that beloved Sopranos actor James Gandolfini has died at the age of 51, HBO confirms.
James Gandolfini – who famously played Tony Soprano on “The Sopranos” — reportedly died earlier today in Italy … TMZ has learned.
Gandolfini is believed to have suffered a heart attack, this according to Deadline.com. He was 51.
Gandolfini was in Italy to attend the 59th Taormina Film Festival in Sicily — and he was scheduled to participate in a festival event this weekend with Italian director Gabriele Muccino.
Looking back at his career:
Gandolfini shot to fame playing a hitman in the 1993 hit “True Romance” … and quickly became a Hollywood legend when he was cast as Tony Soprano in 1999. He won 3 Emmy awards for the role during the show’s 6 season run.
Gandolfini also appeared in a ton of huge movies including “Get Shorty,” “The Mexican” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”
TMZ last spoke with James Gandolfini last month in L.A. where he was in great spirits, making funny faces and even joked about a Sopranos movie.
This story is developing…