September 20, 2014 | Updated at 04:43 PM EDT The Latest Entertainment & Celebrity News

James Gandolfini Dead: 10 Things You Didn't Know About 'The Sopranos'

By Amber James, EnStars
on Jun 20, 2013 03:17 PM EDT
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  • James Gandolfini Dead, 'Sopranos' Star Dies in Italy
  • (Photo : HBO)

With the sudden and untimely passing of actor James Gandolfini at age 51, delved deep into his most celebrated work as the head of a New Jersey crime family on The SopranosHere are 10 things you (probably) didn't know about the series:

1. When David Scatino's sporting goods store goes out of business in Episode 6 of Season 2, the owners of the actual store were forced to advertise they were still in business after fans of the show stopped frequenting the shop.

2. The episode in which Feech La Manna (played by Robert Loggia) kills a New Jersey man over a bar seat was based on a real-life incident involving notorious Philadelphia crime boss Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo.

3. The Season 2 finale, in which Big Pussy is killed on a boat at sea, was actually shot on the back of a large flatbed trailer. To make it appear as though the vessel was rocking, crewmembers jumped on the truck bed.

4. The Sopranos was the first cable TV program to win an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series, and remains the most financially successful cable show in the history of television.

5. Tony Sirico signed on to play Paul "Paulie Walnuts" Gualtieri only after creators guaranteed him that his character would never be an FBI informant.

6. Steve Schirripa, who played Robert "Bobby Bacala" Baccalieri, Jr., had to wear a fat suit in Seasons 2 and 3 to fill out the role.

7. The gun image that appears in the title logo was put there by HBO, so that viewers would not think it was a show about music.

8. Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco, who starred as husband and wife in Goodfellas, were the producers' first choices to play Tony and Carmela Soprano. Liotta passed on the series, while Bracco felt the role of Dr. Melfi was more challenging.

9. Tony Soprano's boat is called The Stugots, which derives from the Italian phrase "questo cazzo," meaning "this d**k."

10. E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt, who played the role of Silvio Dante, was considered for the part of Tony Soprano but turned it down because he didn't want to take a role he thought should go to a real actor.

Gandolfini, the actor who famously portrayed Tony Soprano in the HBO series Sopranos, died on Tuesday after suffering a heart attack in Italy.

Gandolfini is survived by his wife, Deborah Lin, a son and a baby daughter.

HBO confirmed the news late Wednesday to multiple media outlets, including Reuters and the Associated Press. 

"We're all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family," HBO said in a statement.

"He was a special man, a great talent, but more importantly a gentle and loving person who treated everyone no matter their title or position with equal respect."He touched so many of us over the years with his humor, his warmth and his humility," the statement continues. "Our hearts go out to his wife and children during this terrible time. He will be deeply missed by all of us."

The Sopranos actor was in Italy to attend the 59th Taormina Film Festival in Sicily and was also scheduled to take part in a festival event this weekend with Italian director Gabriele Muccino. 

© 2014 Enstarz, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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