Deborah Lin is an American former model and actress. She was the second and last wife of late actor James Gandolfini. A native of Honolulu, Lin found some success as a model. In 1993, she appeared in her first and only acting role in an episode of Showtime’s erotic drama series ‘Red Shoe Diaries’. Gandolfini was previously married to film producer Marcy Wudarski from March 1999 to December 2002. They had a son together, named Michael. Lin and Gandolfini were first spotted together in public in March 2007. They got engaged sometime in 2007 and exchanged wedding vows in August 2008. Their daughter, Liliana Ruth Gandolfini, was born in 2012. Gandolfini passed away in June 2013, after suffering from a heart attack while he was in Rome. Since his death, Lin has chosen to lead a very private life.
Childhood & Early Life
Lin was born in 1968 in Honolulu, Hawaii, the United States of America. She is of Chinese descent. Little is known about her family and upbringing.
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Lin reportedly started her career in the world of glamour as a model. She later decided to try out acting. In 1993, she made her acting debut in Showtime’s erotic drama ‘Red Shoe Diaries’. She appeared in the third episode of season two, titled ‘Runway’, portraying a runway model. Over the years, she has made appearances at various events, either accompanying her husband or their daughter.
Relationship with James Gandolfini
Lin’s late husband, James Gandolfini, was an American actor who was most prominently known for portraying Tony Soprano, the Italian-American crime boss, in HBO's television series ‘The Sopranos’ (1999-2007). For his performance, Gandolfini received three Emmy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and one Golden Globe Award. Over the course of his 33-year-long career, he had portrayed several other notable characters, including mob henchman Virgil in ‘True Romance’ (1993), Lt. Bobby Dougherty in ‘Crimson Tide’ (1995), enforcer and stuntman Bear in ‘Get Shorty’ (1995), Mayor of New York in ‘The Taking of Pelham 123’ (2009), and impulsive "Wild Thing" Carol in ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ (2009).
Gandolfini’s first wife was film producer Marcy Wudarski. They married on March 20, 1999, and divorced on December 18, 2002. Their son, Michael, was born in 1999. Lin and Gandolfini began dating sometime in 2006. In March 2007, they made their first public appearance for the New York City premiere of the second half of the sixth and final series of ‘The Sopranos’. They also got engaged in 2007. On August 30, 2008, the couple tied the knot in Honolulu’s Central Union Church. Gandolfini’s son, Michael, served as his best man. Lin wore a white gown made of Italian lace while Gandolfini sported a tuxedo. The church was adorned with white lilies and rhododendrons. As the bride walked down the aisle, a harpist played the “Hawaiian wedding song” in the background. At the time, Lin was 40 while Gandolfini was 46 years old. Lin gave birth to their daughter, Liliana Ruth Gandolfini, in October 2012.
In June 2013, Gandolfini and his family were in Rome. He was slated to receive an award at the Taormina Film Fest in Sicily. On June 19, the family roamed around the city in the sweltering heat and had come back to Boscolo Exedra Hotel. At around 10 p.m., Michael discovered that his father was lying unconscious on the bathroom floor. He subsequently phoned the reception, who in turn contacted emergency paramedics. Gandolfini was taken to the hospital and was pronounced dead. After an autopsy, his death was ruled to be caused by a heart attack. His body was brought back to the US on 23 June. Four days later, his funeral service was conducted. According to his wishes, Gandolfini’s body was cremated and ashes handed to his family.
After her husband’s death, Lin inherited a considerable part of his estimated $70 million fortune. In recent years, she has been spotted occasionally in public along with her daughter and other members of the family but she predominantly leads a private life.