Friday, December 9th, 2016

Cavett remembers James Gandolfini

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Our friend Tim Rock forwarded this to me and it’s definitely worth sharing. Dick Cavett remembered James Gandolfini for the New York Times. He described attending the funeral.

My first mourner encounter was with the great Dominic Chianese, (Uncle Junior). We embraced. The procedure, repeated over and over, while the church filled, was to come face-to-recognized-face with one “Sopranos” cast member after another, wet with tears, speaking not at all or with great difficulty.

And there they all were. I had, over the years, met most of them — Michael Imperioli, Steve Schirripa, Tony Sirico, Vince Curatola, Steve Buscemi, Vincent Pastore et al, and we exchanged hugs and kisses on the cheek.

(The unruly mind being what it is, the thought occurred to me that I hadn’t been embraced and kissed by so many males since congratulating, backstage, the talented cast of a New Orleans drag show.)

So much crying. A grown man, weeping, is a tough thing to see.

There was a kind of through-the-looking-glass feeling standing there in a small group of Big Pussy, Paulie Walnuts and Johnny Sack, plus, for seasoning, a noticeably reduced Gov. Christie. “Do you know all the Sopranos?” I asked him. “Most of them,” he said. “And arrested some of them,” the greatly gifted Curatola added, for a needed laugh. (It’s no secret that the phrase “done a little time” applies to a cast member or two.)

The splendid Aida Turturro (Janice, Tony’s sister) sensitively observed that what made it all so unbearable was that “Jimmy was just beginning to enjoy his life.”

By the way, I agree with Cavett that The Sopranos was the best television series.

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