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"The Sopranos" stars pay tribute to James Gandolfini

Members of James Gandolfini's "Sopranos" family are paying tribute to the late actor, following his death Wednesday at the age of 51.

Edie Falco, who played Tony Soprano's wife, Carmela, on the HBO series, said she was "shocked and devastated" by the news.

"I am shocked and devastated by Jim's passing," she said in a statement. "He was a man of tremendous depth and sensitivity, with a kindness and generosity beyond words. 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."

Other "Sopranos" co-stars have also given condolences:

David Chase (Creator of "The Sopranos"): "He was a genius. Anyone who saw him even in the smallest of his performances knows that. He is one of the greatest actors of this or any time. A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes. I remember telling him many times, 'You don't get it. You're like Mozart" There would be silence at the other end of the phone. For Deborah and Michael and Lilliana this is crushing. And it's bad for the rest of the world. He wasn't easy sometimes. But he was my partner, he was my brother in ways I can't explain and never will be able to explain."

Jamie-Lynn Sigler (Meadow Soprano): "This news has left me heartbroken. I can only imagine the pain his family feels at this time, and my heart goes out to them, especially Deborah, Michael and Liliana. I spent 10 years of my life studying and admiring one of the most brilliant actors, yes, but more importantly one of the greatest men. Jim had the ability, unbeknownst to him, to make you feel like everything would be alright if he was around. I treasure my memories with him and feel so honored that I was an up close witness to his greatness."

Lorraine Bracco (Dr. Jennifer Melfi): "We lost a giant today. I am utterly heartbroken."

James Gandolfini, "Sopranos" star, dead at 51

Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti): "Jimmy treated us all like family with a generosity, loyalty and compassion that is rare in this world. Working with him was a pleasure and a privilege. I will be forever grateful having had a friend the likes of Jimmy."

Tony Sirico (Paulie Gualtieri): "He was one of my best friends in life. He helped me with my career and I'm going to miss him. He's part of my family."

Steven Schirripa (Bobby Baccalieri): "Jimmy was a dear friend and like a brother to me. He was a great actor and a great father. I will miss him terribly. I am very sad."

Steven Van Zandt (Silvio Dante): "I have lost a brother and a best friend. The world has lost one of the greatest actors of all time. Maureen and I send our deepest sympathy and love to Deborah, Michael, Lily, and all of Jimmy's family."

Joe Gannascoli (Vito Spatafore): "Fifty-one and leaves a kid -- he was newly married. His son is fatherless now ... It's way too young."

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