"Sopranos" actor James Gandolfini dies in Italy

Courtesy: ABC News

The actor best known for his role in the HBO series "The Sopranos" has died in Italy.

HBO and James Gandolfini's manager say the 51-year-old died Wednesday while vacationing in Rome.

In a statement, HBO called the actor a great talent and a gentle and loving person.

Gandolfini played conflicted mob boss Tony Soprano in the groundbreaking HBO series that aired from 1999 to 2007.

His film credits included "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Killing Them Softly," and he appeared in the Broadway production "God of Carnage."

Click here for more coverage of this story from ABC.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)