James Gandolfini, the man who brought the character Tony Soprano to life lost his life yesterday due to an apparent massive heart attack while on a boys trip in Italy with his teenage son where here was also planning to appear at the Taurmina Festival in Sicily later this week.

The sudden passing of James Gandolfini at the age of 51 has hit home for a lot of celebrities, some of whom took to Twitter and Facebook to share their feelings:

"Sopranos" creator David Chase:  "He was a genius.  He's one of the greatest actors of this or any time . . . 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."

"Sopranos" star and E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt:  "I have lost a brother and a best friend.  The world has lost one of the greatest actors of all time."  Steven played Silvio Dante on the show . . . the owner of the Bada Bing strip club.

"Sopranos" star Lorraine Bracco:  "We lost a giant today.  I am utterly heartbroken."  Lorraine played Tony Soprano's shrink, Jennifer Melfi, on the show.

"Sopranos" star Joe Gannascoli:  "Fifty-one and leaves a kid.  He was newly married.  His son is fatherless now . . . It's way too young."  You know Joe as Vito Spatafore, who was secretly gay, on the show.  .

"Sopranos" star Steve Schirripa, who was at a Yankees game when he heard the news:  "I had to get up and leave.  It was like being told a brother had died.  He was as great a friend as he was an actor and a human being . . ."The phone hasn't stopped.  I spoke to a lot of the guys from 'The Sopranos'.  We were crying.  People joke about us being a family.  But we ARE a family."

Jeff Daniels  who co-starred with James in the 2009 Broadway production of "God of Carnage":  "If Broadway has a version of a guy you want in your foxhole, [he] was mine.  During our time together in 'God of Carnage', we played 320 performances together.  He didn't miss one.  Sadly, I now miss him like a brother."

Gilles Marini:  "R.I.P James Gandolfini.  Was an honor to teach your son soccer and to have known you.  You were such a great man and father.  #Heartbroken." And on Facebook, Gilles added, quote, "Last Saturday, he told me at our kids' graduation that he was so happy to go with his son to Italy.  A boy trip!  It was an honor to have met this man, such a great Dad!"

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie:  "James Gandolfini's passing is an awful shock.  He was a fine actor, a Rutgers alum and a true Jersey guy."

Kevin Smith:  "Your iconic portrayal of mob boss Tony Soprano gave soul to a monster and fostered perverse pride in the Garden State!"

Kristin Chenoweth:  "NO.  Not James Gandolfini.  He was in my top five favorite actors EVER."

Ricky Gervais:  "Damn.  RIP James Gandofini.  An amazing actor that made arguably the greatest drama of all time, & a funny, sweet, gentle giant off screen."