Former managers and friends offer rare glimpse into early career of a great actor
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The entertainment industry was rocked on Wednesday June 19, 2013 when actor James Gandolfini died of a heart attack at the age of 51, while on vacation in Italy.
Jeff Mitchell and Elise Koseff of MKS&D (formerly JMM) were James Gandolfini's first managers. Together they crafted the foundation of his career. As a young, struggling, unemployed actor, James made a living as a landscaper in New Jersey. Mitchell and Koseff used to page him on his landscaping truck, and wait for him to call back, to give him his auditions for the next day. He would duck out of working on lawns and trees to run into New York City to read for casting directors on movies and other projects. His first big break came when he landed the role of Tony Baldessari in the film, A Stranger Among Us, Starring Melanie Griffith and directed by Sydney Lumet. He then was cast in the Broadway show Streetcar named Desire with Alec Baldwin and Jessica Lange, his first Broadway performance and final production under the management of JMM. Within seven years he was cast as Tony Soprano on the fledgling network, known then as Home Box Office. The rest is television history.
"James was always a very focused and private actor with a strong method," says Mitchell of Gandolfini. "He was devoted to his career and would not let anything stop him. He never liked seeing himself on film and would not watch his own performances."
Koseff remembers him as "a lovable and gentle man, with great humility who would always greet you with a warm hug and a kiss on the cheek."
Cosmo Denicola, chairman of MKS&D, added "His talent was immense and we at MKSD will forever be proud to have been an early part of his amazing career."
MKS&D (formerly J. Mitchell Management) is a talent management firm with offices in Beverly Hills, California and New York City, representing actors and creative talent in the fields of motion pictures, television and theater. Current clients include Tristan Wilds (Red Tails, 90210); E.J. Bonilla (Revenge, Mamitas), Nicki James (Book of Mormon), Robert Iller (Sopranos), Alexandra Chando (The Lying Game), Emma Kenney (Shameless), and many more. With over two decades of experience in the entertainment industry, MKS&D is dedicated to achieving both the professional and personal goals of clients.
Media Inquiries: MKS&D Natalie Scarantino, 267-229-6845 Executive Assistant firstname.lastname@example.org
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