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James Gandolfini Emmys Tribute: Edie Falco Remembers Late Sopranos Costar

James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Golden Globes Vince Bucci/AFP/Getty Images

The 2013 Emmys were a night of remembrance.

TV's biggest night paid tribute to James Gandolfini, who died in June at the age of 51 after suffering a heart attack. Gandolfini won three Emmys for his iconic role as mobster Tony Soprano on HBO's The Sopranos.

Edie Falco, who played Gandolfini's onscreen wife for six years on The Sopranos, took the stage to give a speech to honor her late costar. Read her touching words of tribute below:

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"When you see really great art, you can sometimes forget that behind it is a person with great technique and skill, for sure, but with an instinct, a perspective that is distinctly their own. One that moves people, pulls them in and makes them want to watch. James Gandoflini was one such individual.

"As one of many examples, his portrayal of Tony Soprano had such depth and dimension that there are still a lot of people who have a hard time believing that's not who he really was. Well, I'm here to tell you, Jim was really quite different.

"He had tremendous warmth and heart. He was kind, he was uniquely generous. One got the feeling that Jim was never entirely comfortable with the attention he got. Usually because he said it every chance he got. He was far more interested in turning the light on to people that he considered more worthy.

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"When he was interviewing Iraqi war veterans for a project that was very close to his heart, he did so with such genuine interest and respect and humility. Over the years I was particularly moved by Jim's devotion to his family and to his fierce loyalty to his friends and all the people in his life. You can ask anybody who knew him, if you needed anything at all ever. Jim was there to take care of it before you even had a chance to ask.

"You all knew James Gandoflini the actor. I was lucky enough to know Jim the man for 10 years as his close colleague and life partner and for many more years as his friend. And it's Jim the man, the very dear man, that I will miss most of all."

READ: All the Emmy news you need

During the show, Jane Lynch paid tribute to her late Glee costar Cory Monteith, calling him "a gifted and wonderful young man." Other stars that received special recognition during the telecast were Gary David Goldberg, Jean Stapleton and Jonathan Winter, as well as Liberace, who was honored with a performance by Elton John.

"The ‘In Memoriam' is a very emotional and evocative segment for the Emmys, or any annual awards program," said executive producer Ken Ehrlich in a statement about the decision to expand the "In Memoriam" tribute. "These five individuals brought us such great entertainment and joy, so having their close friends share personal remembrances is something that will be very meaningful for television audiences across the country and across the generations.

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