James Gandolfini receives street dedication
JAMES Gandolfini has had a street dedicated to him in New Jersey.
The late 'Sopranos' actor, who died of a heart attack in June, was commemorated by his hometown of Park Ridge, New Jersey, yesterday (01.12.13) when a section of Park Avenue - close to where the star grew up - was dedicated to him.
James' 14-year-old son Michael Gandolfini, his widow Deborah Lin and their baby daughter Liliana were on hand for the official ceremony as Park Ridge mayor Terence Maguire declared December 1 would become James Gandolfini Day.
Many of the actor's 'Sopranos' co-stars joined his family and hundreds of fans for the event, including Steve Schirripa, Vincent Curatola, Tony Sirico, Dominic Chianese, Vincent Pastore and John Ventimiglia.
Young Michael recalled visiting the local Ridge Diner on Park Avenue with his father, saying he'd "never forget going to the Park Ridge diner and eating there" with his famous father.
The diner's owner Mike Meidanis said James visited his establishment every Sunday with his family as a child and continued returning whenever he was in town.
He added: "He was a humble man. He was so kind to everyone. You could never tell he was a big star."
James often returned to his hometown, where he attended Park Ridge High School and regularly performed in school theatre productions.
According to local newspaper The Record, Michael said: "He just told me every story about every place here."
The dedication was spurred by an online petition by local residents, which received an outpouring of support over the summer.