Whither 'The Sopranos'?

With the death from lung cancer on Sunday of actress Nancy Marchand, who played the treacherous matriarch Livia on HBO’s “The Sopranos,” the third season of the hit Mafia family saga — which will begin shooting (with film, not bullets) on Aug. 1 — will contain a funeral scene, says series creator David Chase. Marchand, who also starred as the imperious Mrs. Pynchon on TV’s “Lou Grant,” would have turned 72 on Monday. When last seen on “The Sopranos,” Livia had been busted at the airport for holding a hot plane ticket. Chase told Variety columnist Army Archerd: “Even when she was ill she gave a great performance . . . She was never concerned about her appearance or how brutal she had to be. It’s funny, but so many people told us that their mother, or grandmother, was just like her character.”

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