The Sopranos star James Gandolfini has passed away at the age of 51, after he suffered an apparent heart attack in Rome while the actor was on vacation. No official cause of death has been released thus far.

James Gandolfini was born in Westwood, New Jersey in 1961, and began acting in New York stage productions in the 1980s. His breakout film role was as the assassin Virgil in Tony Scott's True Romance, which lead to roles in Terminal Velocity, Crimson Tide, Get Shorty, The Juror, The Mighty and A Civil Action.

RELATED: Carl Reiner Remembered as Family and Friends Pay Tribute to Comedy Pioneer

The actor became an international superstar with his role as Tony Soprano in the critically-acclaimed series The Sopranos, which ran for six seasons on HBO. Other notable roles include In the Loop, Killing Them Softly, Not Fade Away, Zero Dark Thirty, and this year's The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. He most recently wrapped production on Animal Rescue, alongside Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace.

He is survived by his wife Deborah Lin, and his son Michael Gandolfini.