The Sopranos star James Gandolfini braved the cold yesterday (18FEB07) to wow revellers at this year's Mardi Gras - wearing a bizarre costume. The tough guy actor wore a black derby hat, a white tunic over white tights and black knee-high boots - while he threw coins to spectators at the famed New Orleans festival. Tonight's parade will feature hometown singer Harry Connick Jr. Local officials see Mardi Gras as key to helping improve New Orleans' image following Hurricane Katrina, and boost tourism in a city that relies heavily on the tourist trade.