James Gandolfini is an American actor. His Broadway debut came in the 1992 revival of A Streetcar Named Desire. Gandolfini's gift for shedding light on the vulnerable side of seemingly ruthless characters led to his starring role in the acclaimed HBO drama series The Sopranos. He also starred in the film The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 and lent his voice in the film Where the Wild Things Are.
Gandolfini grew up in New Jersey and graduated from Rutgers University. He discovered the stage after spending years as a Manhattan bouncer and nightclub manager. When a friend took him to an acting class in the late 1980s, he was left so unsettled and challenged by a focusing exercise that involved threading a needle that he knew he had to return.
Shortly thereafter, he immersed himself in the New York theater world. His Broadway debut came in the 1992 revival of A Streetcar Named Desire with Jessica Lange and Alec Baldwin. His New York stage credits also include On the Waterfront, One Day Wonder with the Actor's Studio and Tarantulas Dancing at the Samuel Beckett Theatre.