I came to The Sopranos late, but then I watched the 84 episodes of the series practically straight through. James Gandolfini's role as Tony Soprano may be the greatest and most complex role in the history of television, which means that he created what is essentially one of the great novelistic characters of the 21st Century, since long-form TV is what we have now instead of great novels.
Sadly, Gandolfini has died today of an apparent heart attack at the age of 51. Too young, much too young. Younger than the Regular Guy, which is frightening too. Sad, sad day.