How much was James Gandolfini worth?
|Net Worth:||$75 Million
|Date of Birth:||September 18, 1961|
|Country:||United States of America|
Who Is James Gandolfini
James Gandolfini was an actor who was known mostly for one role, but one of the most incredible and important roles in television history. Gandolfini played Tony Soprano, the head of an Italian gang based in New Jersey in the hit show, The Sopranos, which changed the way actors approached television roles forever. The actor also has legion of minor roles as henchmen, which can be found in almost every 90s movie, and he leaves behind a bunch of respected performances in movies such as In The Loop, Zero Dark Thirty, and Enough Said. The actor unfortunately passed away in 2013 at just 51 years old, but he leaves behind him a treasure trove of performances.
James Gandolfini had a net worth of $75 million dollars at the time of his death, in 2013.
How Did James Gandolfini Get So Rich?
There’s no argument that Gandolfini accrued the wealth that he did from playing Tony Soprano. However, the were a lot of disagreements regarding his salary for certain seasons of the show, as the actor started demanding double than what was agreed at points. HBO even tried to sue the actor for an insane $100 million, but that didn’t work and the network had no other choice but to pay him $800,000 per episode for season five. Though HBO called Gandolfini greedy, the actor gave 16 cast members with much lower screen time $33,000 each!
For the final season of the greatest TV show of all time, Gandolfini negotiated his way in to an incredible $1,000,000 per episode. The Sopranos is different to other crime dramas on TV in that most of them run for only 10 or 13 episodes per season, but The Sopranos often ran for more than 20 episodes, and the final season is no different. In the show’s sixth and final season, there were 21 episodes, which means that the star earned $21 million for one season, and that’s more than any other star in a crime drama in history. Though it isn’t clear how much Gandolfini earned for the earlier seasons of the show, he racked up close to $40 million for the final two seasons alone.
Why Was He So Famous?
It was quite a while before Gandolfini got his big break in acting, as throughout the 1990s, the actor was pigeon holed to the token henchman who would rough up a protagonist before getting his ass handed to him. This can be seen most notably in the Tarantino penned and Tony Scott directed classic, True Romance. In the movie, Gandolfini beats Patricia Arquette’s character to a bloody pulp, until she gets revenge on him and brutally murders him in a shower. As the movie was released 27 years ago and the actor has become world famous, audiences now believe that tiny role is a cameo, but in reality Gandolfini was living pay check to pay check at this point.
Right before the turn of the decade in 1999, after playing enough gangsters and henchmen for a lifetime, Gandolfini was cast as Tony Soprano in The Sopranos, a HBO show that would change television forever. It had a perfect script with so much backstory, depth, and detailed characters. Without The Sopranos, there would be no Breaking Bad, Fargo, and though they are worlds apart, there would be no Game of Thrones. The show won over a hundred awards in its lifetime, including a Golden Globe for best actor for Gandolfini. In its run, The Sopranos had an average of nine million viewers per season, peaking at season four with 11 million.
Gandolfini found a new generation of The Sopranos fans posthumously, as after his unfortunate passing made front page news, millennials were only just finding out about the show, and there was a spike in DVD sales and streams for it. And though the actor didn’t appear in many films after the finale of The Sopranos, when he did feature in a movie, the acting was unrivalled on-screen. Gandolfini played General George Miller in the hilarious political comedy In The Loop, and the Mayor of New York in another collaboration with Tony Scott, The Taking Of Pelham 123. Most gracefully, Gandolfini’s final leading role was in Enough Said, a heartfelt drama comedy costarring Julia Louise Dreyfus. Gandolfini was commended for his acting in the movie, which ended up being dedicated to him.
What Makes Gandolfini So Successful?
Though his heft was subject to a plot line in The Sopranos in which his character is massively susceptible to heart attacks, the gargantuan size of Gandolfini, both in height and weight, is what has scored him most of his roles in his career. The actor has mostly played bodyguards, henchmen, and gangsters. As he has been reported as being one of the friendliest and kind hearted people in real life, his physique has helped him maintain a sense of intimidation, which is Tony Soprano’s greatest (and maybe only) business asset.
Besides the actor’s build, Gandolfini’s success simply comes down to being a magnificent actor, especially as he portrays a gangster who has proven that he is capable of truly evil things. The actor can be charismatic, funny, caring, and most of all, scary. He is even capable of being full of energy, which makes any time he’s on screen absolutely electric. Though he played the character for six years, Gandolfini’s performance seemed completely natural from the very first episode, and it’s debatable if there has ever been a performance as good before the show’s inception or after its end.
The Sopranos put Gandolfini on the map, and though it was with the help of some fine writing, dynamite directing, and perfect production, it was Gandolfini that brought the character of Tony Soprano to life and why that six year long role will always be seen as the godfather of TV characters. Thanks mostly to his tenure on the envelope pushing show, James Gandolfini had an estimated net worth of $70 million at the time of his death, and he lives on through generations. In 2021, a prequel to The Sopranos will be released on HBO, which stars Gandolfini’s son as a younger Tony Soprano.