James Gandolfini quietly donated to MS charities in ‘The Sopranos’ co-star’s name

James Gandolfini used to quietly donate to MS charities in the name of Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who played his daughter on HBO’s The Sopranos.

The actress, who played Meadow Soprano in the beloved drama, was speaking on the Life Is Short podcast when she revealed that she only found out about her on-screen dad’s generosity after he died.

Sigler was diagnosed with the disease in 2002, during the making of the show, and Gandolfini was the first person that she shared the news with on set.

James Gandolfini and Jamie-Lynn Sigler at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)

“I found out after his death that he donated to MS organizations constantly for me,” she said.

Remembering the moment that she shared her diagnosis with him, she said: “He pulled me aside one day and he said, ‘Jamie, what is going on?’ I just fell in a puddle in his arms. And I was just like, ‘I’m so scared, but I have MS, and I don’t know how to tell anybody.’ And he’s like, ‘Your secret’s safe with me.’”

Sigler has been highly complimentary of the late actor in the past, revealing last year that Gandolfini would often publicly doubt himself and proclaim “I fucking suck” on set during the making of the HBO classic, adding that she felt it was primarily a way for him to help his fellow actors.

“It had nothing to do with his confidence,” Sigler told the Inside of You podcast. “He would question himself. There would be moments where he’d be like, ‘I fucking suck,’ but I appreciated that because I’ve had those thoughts but I didn’t say them out loud because I don’t want anybody to know that I think I suck. He was confident enough to say it out loud.”

Sigler has also recently spoken out against “healthy and perfect” people that choose to take the weight-loss drug Ozempic.

She was keen to emphasise that she has seen and supports the positive effect the drug has had on people she knows who have “struggled with their weight for a very, very, very long time”.

“I have also seen friends of mine, who were beautiful and healthy and perfect, abusing it, and it’s upsetting me,” she added.

“It felt like we were on this road to solidifying body positivity, and every shape and size and colour, and everyone’s looking the same now.”

This week, the cast of the show reunited to speak at a panel at the Tribeca Film Festival, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its debut. A documentary by Alex Gibney, titled Wise Guy: David Chase and The Sopranos, premiered at the festival.

Sigler said at the event: “That set was home, these people were home, and they accepted you no matter what.”


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