James Gandolfini Cuts to Black

NEW YORK — James Gandolfini, a talented film and stage actor and one of the great television performers of our time, suddenly and unceremoniously ended his run Wednesday. Many are calling Gandolfini’s conclusion “saddening,” “frustrating” and “not what [they] were hoping for.” The man most famous for his three-time Emmy-winning turn as Tony Soprano reportedly suffered a heart attack in Rome; he was 51.

Reached for comment, several TV critics praised Gandolfini for his brave and moving choices, but said this ending can’t help but feel disappointing.

“I really feel like he could have kept it going a lot longer,” said Bloomberg’s Scott Abelard. “Sure he had a great run there – and I’m grateful for the journey – but I bet if he could alter that denouement, he’d probably leap at the chance.”

Gandolfini turned in memorable performances in films including “Where the Wild Things Are” and “In the Loop” and especially as the lead in HBO’s “The Sopranos.” He will be buried at sea.

Survivors of Gandolfini include a wife, two children, a pair of sisters and the hope that David Chase will return to television.