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John Travolta on James Gandolfini: He helped me through my son's death

USMagazine, Thursday, June 20, 2013, 12:00pm (PDT)
  • Following the shocking death of his good friend James Gandolfini, John Travolta is on a mission to help support his grieving family. During an interview with "Good Morning America" on Thursday, the 59-year-old actor remembered his "Get Shorty" and "Lonely Hearts" costar, and how Gandolfini helped Travolta through one of the worst times in his life.

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    When Travolta's son Jett died suddenly of a seizure at the age of 16 in 2009, Gandolfini was by his side. "James went out of his way to come to Florida and he would not leave Florida until I was OK, or he felt that I would be fine," Travolta recalled of his fellow New Jersey native. "After a week I said, 'Jim, you can really, you can, you know, we'll be fine. I've got a lot of support here.'"

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    "But the idea that in our profession someone would go out of their way and not want to leave you until he felt you were OK, that's the kind of soul that James Gandolfini was," Travolta explained. "He was a people person first, and then everything else."

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    Now, Travolta wants to do the same for his late friend's family. On Wednesday, "The Sopranos" star died suddenly of a reported heart attack in Rome at the age of 51. He is survived by his wife Deborah Lin, son Michael, 13, and daughter Liliana, 9 months.

    "My goal is to make sure that his family is okay," Travolta said. "His little boy, I watched him grow up, and his brand new little girl. We'll just make sure they're taken care of. That's the whole idea."

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