The surprising death of “Sopranos” star James Gandolfini has left his on-screen daughter utterly shaken.
"This news has left me heartbroken," Jamie Lynn-Sigler, the 32-year-old expectant mom, told Us Weekly in a statement.
"I can only imagine the pain his family feels at this time, and my heart goes out to them, especially Deborah, Michael, and Liliana," said Lynn-Sigler, who has Cuban and Greek ancestry.
Gandolfini died of a heart attack while vacationing in Rome on Wednesday. He was 51.
Gandolfini leaves behind his wife Deborah and their 9-month-old daughter, Liliana, along with his 13-year-old son Michael, from a previous marriage.
For over six seasons, Lynn-Sigler played Meadow Soprano, the daughter of Gandolfini's tormented mob boss, Tony Soprano, on the hit HBO series.
"I spent 10 years of my life studying and admiring one of the most brilliant actors, yes, but more importantly, one of the greatest men," the Cuban actress said in her statement.
"Jim had the ability, unbeknownst to him, to make you feel like everything would be alright if he was around. I treasure my memories with him and feel so honored that I was an up-close witness to his greatness."
Lynn-Sigler was one of many in the entertainment industry who expressed deep sorrow over Gandolfini’s death.
"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,” said David Chase, creator of "The Sopranos."
“A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes. He was my partner. ... He was my brother in ways I can't explain and never will be able to explain," Chase said.
Joe Gannascoli, who played Vito Spatafore on the show, added: "Fifty-one and leaves a kid -- he was newly married. His son is fatherless now ... It's way too young."
Dr. Claudio Modini, head of the emergency room at the Policlinic Umberto I hospital, said Gandolfini arrived at the hospital at 10:20 p.m. Wednesday and was pronounced dead at 11 p.m. after reanimation efforts in the ambulance and hospital failed.
An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday.