Belfast Telegraph

Monday 26 January 2015

John Travolta: James Gandolfini a true friend

John Travolta

John Travolta has opened up about the death of his dear friend James Gandolfini after the actor died suddenly this week at the age of 51.

The men connected after John suffered a tragedy of his own.

When the actor lost his 16-year-old son Jett after the teen suffered a seizure in 2009 he remembers James being there for him.

John plans to make a gesture to James’ family in paying that gratitude forward.

“He was one step ahead of you, even if you didn’t ask for it,” John told Extra.

“He gave it to you.

“I will reach out formally, and help the way he did with me, when I lost my son.”

James died of a heart attack while in Italy with his 13-year-old son earlier this week. The Sopranos actor was 51.

John says he thinks of his friend frequently and longs for James’ presence.

“I already miss him,” he said.

The actor tries to focus on the light-hearted memories he made with the late star. He remembers James as a kind-hearted man despite his gruff exterior.

“I think I embarrassed him often. I would hug him or kiss him. He’s a big macho guy,” John mused, adding, “He’s such a sweet soul… he’s a real friend you'd have before you got into show business, not after.”

James’ family released a statement following his death.

The actor travelled to Italy on vacation and was with family.

An autopsy revealed James died of natural causes.

“He had a wonderful day. He visited the Vatican, he had dinner at the hotel with his son [and was] awaiting the arrival of his sister,” the statement read in part.

“We are all devastated by his loss. James was a devoted husband, a loving father of two children and a brother and cousin you could always count on. We thank you for giving us the privacy you have afforded us at this difficult time.”

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