updated 06/20/2013 AT 9:00 AM ET
•originally published 06/20/2013 AT 10:20 AM ET
Tony and Carmela Soprano had one of the most turbulent relationships in the history of television, but a day after James Gandolfini’s shocking death in Italy, TV wife Edie Falco offers an emotional tribute to the man who was her intimate collaborator for a decade.
“I am shocked and devastated by Jim’s passing,” Falco says 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.”
The Sopranos racked up Emmy awards for its fictional portrayal of the dysfunctional New Jersey crime family, with Gandolfini and Falco at its emotional core.
On Thursday, Falco acknowledged both his real-life family and the one he forged on the groundbreaking HBO show.
“My heart goes out to his family,” said Falco, “as those of us in his pretend one hold onto the memories of our intense and beautiful time together. The love between Tony and Carmela was one of the greatest I’ve ever known.”