You pick: Tony Soprano's greatest hits

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FILE - This 1999 file photo released by HBO shows actor James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano in the critically acclaimed HBO series "The Sopranos." HBO and the managers for Gandolfini say the actor died Wednesday, June 19, 2013, in Italy. He was 51. (AP Photo/HBO, Anthony Nesta, file)

James Gandolfini, best known as "Tony Soprano" on HBO's "The Sopranos," passed away Wednesday while vacationing in Italy.

Both critically and publicly acclaimed, "The Sopranos" offered Gandolfini a wide range of roles, from family man to brutal killer, and during the six seasons it was on the air, there was no shortage of memorable moments.

Here then, in chronological order, I picked ten of my favorite Tony Soprano moments, although I could list ten more. Vote in our poll to pick your favorite, and pass along any others in the comments.

And I know, I left some out, but I couldn't put the whole series in here...

Poll

Which of these Tony Soprano moments is most memorable?

WARNING: These clips are uncensored and may contain violence and/or inappropriate language.

When Meadow's college visit turned into a hit.

"College"
Season 1, Episode 5

During a college visit with his daughter Meadow, Tony happens upon an old informant that was relocated under the Witness Protection Program, and sneaks away to finish him off before anyone notices he's gone.

When Tony told Dr. Melfi he loved her.

"Pax Soprana"
Season 1, Episode 6

No longer being able to deal with his feeling for his therapist, which have manifested themselves in vivid fantasies, Tony confesses his love to her. She then tries to convince him that he is not in love, but rather feeling positive reactions to his progress in therapy.

When the talking fish convinced Tony to kill his best friend.

"Funhouse"
Season 2, Episode 13

In the second season finale, Tony gets food poisoning and begins having crazy dreams, including where his long-time friend takes the form of fish and reveals that he has been working for the government as an informant. His suspicion is confirmed when he finds a hidden wire, leaving Tony with no choice.

When Tony got dinner thrown at his head.

"Pine Barrens"
Season 3, Episode 11

Tony misses dinner with psychotic girlfriend, Gloria, and shortly after they "make up" he gets called out to the Pine Barrens to clean up a mess left by Paulie and Christopher. Gloria doesn't take kindly to him having to run out, so she hurls dinner at the back of his head. (Clip is at 6:53 mark of video)

When Gloria begged Tony to kill her.

"Amour Fou"
Season 3, Episode 12 

After Gloria meets Carmela while working at the car dealership, Tony decides to call off the relationship permanently, as he realizes the threat she poses to his marriage. Gloria threatens to call his wife, and that, needless to say, sends Tony off the rails. As he kneels above her, fist tightly clenched around her neck, Tony curses out his now ex-girlfriend, but Gloria manages to gasp "Kill me, kill me, kill me" over and over again. (Clip is at 4:00 mark of video) 

When Meadow asked about the family business.

"No Show"
Season 4, Episode 2

An argument over Meadow's plans to travel to Europe spirals out of control after she calls her father "Mr. Mob Boss" and questions him about the nature of his business. Tony then puts the fear of god in his daughter the way only "Mr. Mob Boss" can.

When Tony whacked Ralph.

"Whoever Did This"
Season 4, Episode 9

When Tony suspects that Ralph set fire to a stable, killing their horse, Tony seeks some answers. He confronts Ralph, who is making eggs, at his house, and tells him the news. Ralph's lack of emotion over the loss of their horse strengthens Tony's belief that Ralph was behind the fire in an attempt to collect the $200,000 insurance policy. Tony then begins beating him to death, using the same frying pan that Ralph was using to prepare his breakfast.

When Uncle Junior shot Tony.

"Members Only"
Season 6, Episode 1

In the sixth season premiere, Tony goes to visit his now severely senile uncle. While Tony cooks dinner, Uncle Junior goes upstairs to look for his dentures, but returns with a gun. Now confused as to why someone else is in his house, he mistakenly - or perhaps purposefully - shoots Tony in the stomach and hides in a closet upstairs as his bloody nephew struggles to get to the phone and call for help.

When Tony needed to remind everyone who was in charge.

"Mr. & Mrs. John Sacrimoni Request…"
Season 6, Episode 5

Worried that his guys are losing respect for his authority, Tony picks a fight with the biggest guy in the room - a "[bleeping] Philadelphia lawyer" - in order to show them he is still to be feared.

When Tony choked out Christopher.

"Kennedy and Heidi"
Season 6, Episode 18 

After a car accident leaves an apparently high Christopher pinned in the vehicle, Tony - in a shocking twist - decides to kill his own nephew, who he sees as a threat to his business and well-being, rather than try to save him.

 


Matt Mullin is the sports editor at philly.com. Twitter: @matt_mullin  |  Email: mmullin@philly.com

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