Edie Falco, the on-screen "Sopranos" wife of James Gandolfini, on Thursday paid tribute to her late co-star, saying their on-screen relationship was "one of the greatest" she had ever known.
"I am shocked and devastated by Jim's passing. He was a man of tremendous depth and sensitivity, with a kindness and generosity beyond words," she said in a statement, a day after the actor died in Italy at age 51.
"I consider myself very lucky to have spent 10 years as his close colleague. My heart goes out to his family, as those of us in his pretend one hold on to the memories of our intense and beautiful time together.
"The love between Tony and Carmela was one of the greatest I've ever known," she added.
Award-winning actor Gandolfini, who played troubled mobster Tony Soprano in the mafia TV drama series which ran from 1999-2007, died Wednesday of a heart attack in Rome while on vacation in Italy.
HBO, the cable TV channel which made "The Sopranos," issued a statement saying: "We're all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family."