James Gandolfini sheds 'Sopranos' wardrobe

Auction will benefit nonprofit for wounded soldiers

NEW YORK -- Tony Soprano is shedding his wardrobe for charity. James Gandolfini, who starred on the hit HBO series, is selling off 24 outfits, including the button-down blue shirt he wore in the opening credits and the bathrobe he donned to fetch the morning newspaper.

Proceeds from the June 25 pop culture auction at Christie's will go to the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit group that assists severely wounded soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Estimates for the costumes start at $500.

Gandolfini's wardrobe, which includes many outfits with the original production tags attached, is expected to bring up to $36,500.

The actor's contract allowed him to keep the clothes after the show ended its six-season run last year, Christie's said. He has authenticated all the outfits in the sale.

A tan cotton bathrobe with lavender trim and "S" insignia on the breast pocket, featured in the pilot when he got the newspaper and fed the ducks in his pool, may bring as much as $1,500.

The auction house is also offering the blood-splattered costume worn in the scene when Tony is shot by a demented Uncle Junior. Consisting of a black-and-beige short-sleeve polo shirt, white tank top and black pants, the costume could fetch up to $3,000.

Another 37 costumes worn by other lead "Sopranos" characters, including Paulie Walnuts, Christopher Moltisanti and A.J. Soprano, also are being sold, though the proceeds from those sales will not benefit the Jacksonville, Fla.-based veterans' organization.

The costumes for the series were designed by Juliet Polsca, who earned two Emmy nominations and a Costume Designers Guild Award.