'Sopranos' star shares wealth

June 12, 2003 at 6:56 PM
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HOLLYWOOD, June 12 (UPI) -- "Sopranos" star James Gandolfini is sharing a salary increase, won recently in hard-fought HBO negotiations, with his fellow cast members.

Even as discussions intensify regarding committing to a sixth season of the hugely popular series, sources say most of the talk on the set of the organized crime drama has been about the generous gesture made last week by Gandolfini to more than a dozen of his fellow cast members.

Gandolfini recently received his first advance from HBO on his share of the "Sopranos" profits. In turn, the Emmy-winning actor quietly handed out checks in the five-figure range to series regulars.

The Hollywood Reporter said recipients included Edie Falco, Lorraine Bracco, Michael Imperioli, Dominic Chianese and Tony Sirico.

Sources said Gandolfini gave away about $500,000 of his own money as a way of demonstrating he believes the show's success hinges on the strength of its ensemble cast.

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