From the son of Italian immigrants to high school basketball star and 'Class Flirt': James Gandolfini's early years growing up in New Jersey

Jun 21, 2013 992

by Lydia Warren

Grinning with his head on the lap of a school friend as he pulls her cheek, this is James Gandolfini in his happy teenage years - when the New Jersey native was voted 'Class Flirt' and 'Best Looking'.

This larger-than-life character smiling among the pages of the Park Ridge High School yearbook in the 1970s hints at the popular actor Gandolfini would later become.
Gandolfini, who passed away suddenly on Wednesday at the age of 51, had a childhood influenced by strong working class parents from Italy - an upbringing that went on to inspire his acting career.

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