Requiem for an Actress – James Gandolfini

In or about 2003, Barbara received a call to appear in a “Sopranos” episode.

It was at the filming set that Barbara renewed her friendship with Vincent Pastore although they had seen each other sporadically at actor functions over the years since they appeared together in the movie “It Could Happen To You”.

I accompanied Barbara to the filming set and sat in the holding area while she was being filmed.

The filming was being done in a large building in New Jersey) because the holding area was typical of a high school cafeteria with tables and chairs.

When the filming broke for lunch, Barbara came over to me and once the film crew and the actors had filled their plates at the ‘craft table’, we proceeded to get some food.

While we were seated at a table, Vincent Pastore brought Gandolfini over to meet us. Evidently, Vincent had told James about our movie “Third Man in the Ring”.

He also told him that we had once expressed that James would be a good fit to play Teddy Martin, Barbara’s father and the third man in the ring (the prizefight referee).

James was very cordial and was receptive to our movie idea, but he was taken aback when Barbara said to him, “I’d like you to play my father”.

Now, in 2003, Barbara was in her 60’s, and, though she still looked years younger, James was probably thinking, “My God, do I look that old”. James was probably in his late 30s or early 40s at that time.

We all had a good laugh at his reaction and explained that we meant for him to play Barbara’s father in the movie and not reflecting on his current appearance.

That served to ease his mind. James was all for the idea of playing Teddy, if only we had been able to raise the financing.

James bore an uncanny resemblance to Teddy Martin both facially and in his physique. I am including photos of both men.

(Photo by Mark Large – Pool/Getty Images)
Teddy Martin