LOS ANGELES - Famed mob boss Tony Soprano did not die at the end of the iconic TV show's last season, its creator revealed Wednesday.
The infamous final scene, which fades to black on Soprano eating with his wife and son in a New Jersey diner, triggered a storm when it ran in 2007.
Some initially thought their televisions had gone wrong. Critics said it wasn't fair to leave viewers in the lurch after six seasons, after preceding scenes showed mysterious characters milling around, and Soprano's daughter rushing to join him in the diner.
What really happened - well, in unwritten fictional terms at least - remained a mystery.
Series creator David Chase finally revealed all - or a key fact anyway - in an interview with online blogging site Vox.com.
Asked repeatedly what happened to Soprano, Chase at first became furious, asking his interviewer: "Why are we talking about this?" But he then finally gave a straight answer to the question of whether Tony Soprano was dead.
"No," he said simply, according to Vox. "No, he isn't." The revelation leaves open the possibility that the series could be revived on screen. This seems highly unlikely, not least because James Gandolfini, the actor who played Soprano, died in June last year, aged 51.