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The Globe and Mail

Seven of James Gandolfini's most memorable moments as Tony Soprano

Actor James Gandolfini, who died suddenly Wednesday, will be best remembered for his role as the complicated mobster on The Sopranos

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TONY THE PATIENT Tony is lifeless and sad while discussing his depression medications with his therapist Dr. Melfi (Lorraine Bracco), but reverts to form at her suggestion that taking Lithium and Prozac daily must be a “painful” experience. “This isn’t painful,” he snaps. “Getting shot is painful. Getting stabbed in the ribs is painful. This shit isn't painful. It's empty... dead.”


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TONY THE BOSS As his marriage crumbles and his crime family flounders, Tony explains to his consigliere Silvio Dante (Steve Van Zandt) the unique pressures that come with being atop the mob food chain. “All due respect, you got no f---g idea what it's like to be Number One. Every decision you make affects every facet of every other f---g thing. It's too much to deal with almost. And in the end you're completely alone with it all.”

Craig Blankenhorn/AP

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TONY THE ROMANTIC Tony is surprised when the crooked Jersey councilman Zellman (Peter Riegert) informs him that he’s seeing his former Russian mistress Irina (Oksana Lada). Later that night, Tony is cruising around in his big black SUV when the romantic song “Oh Girl” on the radio brings him to tears. He drives directly to Zellman’s house, brushes past Irina and proceeds to whip the living daylights out of shirtless Zellman with his belt. Point made, Tony barks at Zellman: “All the girls in New Jersey you had to f--k this one?”

Anthony Neste/AP

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TONY THE BUSINESSMAN During tough economic times, Tony gathers his crime lieutenants together to deliver an inspirational pep talk: “I want to know why there's zero growth in this family's receipts! Where's the f---ing money?! You're supposed to be earners. That's why you've got the top-tiered positions. So I want each one of you to go out to your people on the street, crack some f---ing heads, start making some f---king earnings out there!”


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TONY THE OPTIMIST During a particularly contentious session with Dr. Melfi, Tony makes a rather poignant observation on American culture. “You know we're the only country where the pursuit of happiness is guaranteed in writing? Do you believe that? A bunch of f--king spoiled brats. Where's my happiness then?” Dr. Melfi: “It’s the pursuit that’s guaranteed.” Tony: “Yeah, always a f---ing loophole.”


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TONY THE FATHER When a drunken New York wiseguy insults Tony’s daughter Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler), he responds the next morning by viciously beating the man to within an inch of his life. That afternoon, Tony is attending a family counseling session with his wife Carmela (Edie Falco) and son A.J. (Robert Iler) to discuss the former’s suicide attempt. During the session, Tony looks down and notices a still-bloody tooth in his pants cuff, which he nimbly pockets.

Anthony Neste/REUTERS

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TONY THE HUSBAND An argument between Tony and Carmela about their pending divorce turns nuclear when she turns the topic to property settlement. "The only reason you have anything is because of my f--ing sweat,” he growls. “And you knew every step of the way exactly how it works. But you walk around that f--ing mansion in your $500 shoes and diamond rings, and you act like butter wouldn't melt in your mouth. And you don't want it to get ugly? Too late."


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