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Tony Soprano: baby boomer

What James Gandolfini and Tony Soprano had in common

By Matthew Wolfson  

James Gandolfini, who died last week aged 51, was an average-looking character actor from New Jersey who, at age 38, became the central figure in the first and perhaps most remarkable series of what is now called television’s golden age—The Sopranos. Gandolfini and his definitive character Tony Soprano both showed an acute awareness of being placed in situations that would tax them beyond their resources.

The Sopranos was an unselfconscious presentation of the first postwar generation’s anxieties…

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