Now, and only now, do actually believe that Tony Soprano has breathed his last.
He wasn't leading man material. Or at least he wasn't supposed to be. Until he sank his teeth into the role of a lifetime as the head of a New Jersey Mafia family. He breathed life into the character, and made us worry and cheer for a cheating thieving murderer. He took the concept of the anti-hero and kept it going into villainy until it came out the other side.
He played other roles. Roles that had he not played Tony might have stood out, but his played his signature character so well it that it loomed over everything else. In another ten years, he could have become someone else. Someone as dominant, as memorable. But alas, he won't have them.
And we are lessened for it.