The death of James Gandolfini, best known for his role as an anxiety-ridden mob boss on HBO's "The Sopranos," on Wednesday affected many in Hollywood and beyond. Friends and colleagues tweeted and made statements after hearing news of the actor's death.
Appreciation: Gandolfini, a pure actor
David Chase, creator of "The Sopranos"
"He was a genius. Anyone who saw him even in the smallest of his performances knows that. He is one of the greatest actors of this or any time. A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes. I remember telling him many times, 'You don't get it. You're like Mozart" There would be silence at the other end of the phone. For Deborah and Michael and Liliana this is crushing. And it's bad for the rest of the world. He wasn't easy sometimes. But he was my partner, he was my brother in ways I can't explain and never will be able to explain."
Vincent Curatola, actor, "The Sopranos"
"This is the loss of a glowing light, an instinctive actor and the type of person who you never got tired of talking to. Since 1998, my work with him grew into a second skin. The words in our scenes together would change but the mutual respect would never change."
The band, Journey, whose signature song, "Don't Stop Believin" was played in the "The Sopranos" finale
"It's truly an honor to have been able to share one of the greatest moments ever in TV history with James Gandolfini. He was an amazing actor -- taken way too young -- and he'll be missed. Our condolences go out to his family."
Mark Ruffalo, co-star in "The Last Castle" and "Where the Wild Things Are"
"Oh Jimmy. It's a crying shame. You stormed in and out. Your voice like velvet granite. From a whisper to a shout. A comet of a man. So long."
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
"It's an awful shock. James Gandolfini was a fine actor, a Rutgers alum and a true Jersey guy. I was a huge fan of his and the character he played so authentically, Tony Soprano. I have gotten to know Jimmy and many of the other actors in the Sopranos cast and I can say that each of them are an individual New Jersey treasure. Mary Pat and I express our deepest sympathies to Mr. Gandolfini's wife and children, and our prayers are with them at this terrible time."
Former CIA chief Leon Panetta, played by Gandolfini in the movie "Zero Dark Thirty"
"James Gandolfini was a friend and a great actor. He wrote me after portraying me last year, which was a great thrill and honor. I told him I was glad an Italian played me -- swear words and all. We laughed together at the fact that tough guys can have a heart of gold. He did, and we will miss him."
Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
"Yesterday, we lost a talented actor and advocate for our service members. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Gandolfini family."
Chef Mario Batali
"I am totally shocked and devastated by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends. I only hope to help his family any way I can in their grief and mourning."
Actor James Urbaniak @JamesUrbaniak
"I met Gandolfini once after he saw me in a play and his describing a gesture I did on stage is one of my most cherished compliments ever."
Actress Olivia Wilde ?@oliviawilde
"James Gandolfini was a kind, funny, wonderful guy. I'm so lucky to have worked with him. Sending love to his family. Such a sad, sad day."
Matthew Warchus, director of the Broadway play "God of Carnage" starring Gandolfini
"He was just so good at the emotion. A very passionate man and a very, very tender man... I really loved him and admired him a great deal."
Chris Albrecht, current CEO of Starz and former HBO president who approved 'The Sopranos'