1. James Gandolfini was born and raised in Bergen County, North Jersey.
2. Then he attended Rutgers, New Jersey's state university.
3. He always returned to his roots, filming commercials for Rutgers football and raising money for charities.
Then there is Jim Gandolfini, who seems to thrive on the apartment-hopping life. Since moving to New York City four years ago, Mr. Gandolfini, 26 years old, has never had his name on a lease, never paid more than $400 a month in rent and never lived in one place more than 10 months. His wanderer's existence has given him sojourns, some as brief as two months, in Hoboken, N.J.; Astoria, Queens; Clinton and the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and Park Slope and Flatbush in Brooklyn.''Moving, to me, is no big deal,'' said Mr. Gandolfini, whose calling is the theater but whose living comes mostly from bartending and construction. ''I have a system down. I throw everything in plastic garbage bags and can be situated in my new place in minutes. Without my name on a lease, I'm in and out. I have no responsibilities.
5. After years as a working actor, he landed his landmark part: Tony Soprano, a Jersey gangster for a new age.
6. He also won the admiration of his fellow Garden Staters.
7. He was a big Jets fan.
8. Even went to a Nets games at the Meadowlands before they left town.
9. Of course, Gandolfini enjoyed the Jersey Shore.
10. He lived the dream of every Jersey kid — hanging out and co-starring with Stevie Van Zandt.
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.