James Gandolfini Remembered by Edie Falco During Tearful Emmys Tribute

Celebrity News Sep. 22, 2013 AT 11:16PM

Edie Falco will always miss her dear friend, James Gandolfini. Fighting back tears, The Sopranos actress remembered her late costar during an emotional tribute at the 2013 Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Sunday, Sept. 22 in L.A.

Emmy-winning Sopranos actor Gandolfini died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 51 while on vacation with wife Deborah Lin, son Michael, 13, and daughter Liliana, who was only nine-months-old at the time. He is best remembered for playing the Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano in the landmark 1999-2007 HBO drama series, The Sopranos. Falco, starred as Carmela Soprano, his on-screen wife.

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"When you see really great art you can sometimes forget that behind it is a person with technique and skill, for sure, but with an instinct, a perspective that is distinctly their own, one that moves people, pulls them in and makes them want to watch. James Gandolfini was one such individual," Falco said on stage. "As one of many examples, his portrayal as Tony Soprano had such depth and dimension that there are still a lot of people who have a hard time believing that's not who he really was. Well, I'm here to tell you Jim was really quite different. He had tremendous warmth and heart, he was kind, he was uniquely generous. One got the feeling that Jim was never entirely comfortable with all of the attention he got, usually because he said it every chance he got. He was far more interested in turning the light onto people who he considered more worthy. When he was interviewing Iraqi War veterans for a project that was very close to his heart, he did so with such genuine interest, respect and humility."

"Over the years, I was particularly moved by Jim's devotion to his family, and to his fierce loyalty to his friends and to all the people in his life. You can ask anybody that knew him, if you needed anything at all, ever, Jim was there to take care of it before you even had a chance to ask. You all knew James Gandolfini the actor, I was lucky enough to know Jim the man," Falco shared with tears in her eyes. "For ten years as his close colleague and his pretend life partner, and for many more years as his friend, and it's Jim, the man, the very dear man, that I will miss most of all." 

James Gandolfini was remembered with a touching tribute by his tearful Sopranos costar Edie Falco during the 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards In Memoriam segment on Sept. 22.
James Gandolfini was remembered with a touching tribute by his tearful Sopranos costar Edie Falco during the 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards In Memoriam segment on Sept. 22.
Credit: Vince Bucci/Invision for Academy of Television Arts & Sciences/AP Images

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The other four stars who received special recognition during the show included: actor Cory Monteith (remembered by Glee costar Jane Lynch), producer Gary David Goldberg (remembered by Family Ties star Michael J. Fox), actress Jean Stapleton (remembered by All in the Family costar Rob Reiner), and actor Jonathan Winters (remembered by Mork and Mindy costar Robin Williams.)

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Tell Us: What did you think of Gandolfini's special tribute?

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