Tuesday 20 February 2018

James Gandolfini's body being flown to New York for funeral

James Gandolfini in his role as Tony Soprano (AP/HBO, Barry Wetcher)
James Gandolfini in his role as Tony Soprano (AP/HBO, Barry Wetcher)
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

It's set to take place on Thursday.

James Gandolfini's family are flying his body back to his beloved New York City, so that the late actor can be buried there. A spokesperson for the family, Michael Kobold, said that the family are preparing The Sopranos legend's funeral service for Thursday.

Gandolfini died of a heart attack in Rome on Wednesday while on a "boys only" bonding trip with his 13-year-old son xx, who discovered his father's body.

"On behalf of the Gandolfini family, I would like to thank the Italian authorities for all the assistance they have rendered in expediting the formalities necessary to repatriate James Gandolfini’s remains to the United States," Mr Kobold said in a statement. "We are fully aware that this process usually takes seven days and we are extremely grateful for their efficiency in dealing with this matter."

"It has been our privilege to be guests in your beautiful country, despite the difficult circumstances. We sincerely thank you."

Kobold also thanked the US government for their "kind support."

Sopranos creator David Chase described Gandolfini as
Sopranos creator David Chase described Gandolfini as "a genius", saying: "Anyone who saw him even in the smallest of his performances knows that. He is one of the greatest actors of this or any time. A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes."
Actors Steve Van Zandt, James Gandolfini, Michael Imperioli and Vincent Pastore of the TV series The Sopranos.
James Gandolfini won three Emmy awards and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of the conflicted mob boss who was both brutal and emotionally delicate.
Nancy Marchand who played Tony's mother, and James Gandolfini in a scene from the HBO TV series The Sopranos.
Gandolfini played Tony Soprano in the groundbreaking series that aired from 1999 to 2007.
Edie Falco, James Gandolfini and Lorraine Bracco attend "The Sopranos: The Complete Fifth Season" DVD launch party at English is Italian on June 6, 2005 in New York City.
Tony Sirico and James Gandolfini at the Satriale's Pork Store in Kearny, New Jersey.
James Gandolfini and Edie Falco pose with their Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress and Actor in a Drama Series during the The 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Access Hollywood Press Room at the The Shrine Theater in Los Angeles,
With co stars Edie Falco and and Jamie-Lynn Sigler who played his daughter at The Sopranos Sixth Season Premiere.
The cast of the Sopranos accepts the Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series award onstage during the 59th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on September 16, 2007 in Los Angeles, California.
Lorraine Bracco who played Tony's psychatrist and James Gandolfini.
James Gandolfini poses for a portrait during the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
With Edie Falco at an after party for the Broadway opening of "God of Carnage"in 2009 in New York City.
James Gandolfini withJennifer Connelly and Vin Diesel for the Fresh Air Fund's Annual Spring Gala honoring American Heroes.
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 05: Actor James Gandolfini attends Spike TV's 4th Annual "Guys Choice Awards" held at Sony Studios on June 5, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Christina Applegate, Ben Affleck and James Gandolfini at the Surviving Christmas premiere.
James Gandolfini withKristen Stewart and director Jake Scott at a screening of "Welcome To The Rileys"in 2010
James Gandolfini and Edie Falco at the Emmy Awards.
James Gandolfini during The "Forget-Me-Not" Gala Benefitting The Alzheimers Association NYC Chapter at The Pierre Hotel in New York
Gandolfini attends Premiere Of "Iris" - A Journey Into The World Of Cinema By Cirque du Soleil at the Kodak Theatre 2011 with his wife.
Gandolfini attends the City of Hope Gala at Soho House on November 20, 2011 in West Hollywood, California.
With Brad Pitt at a screening of "Killing Them Softly" 2012 in New York City.

It is believed that Gandolfini's funeral will take place on Thursday at 10am at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan.

Gandolfini played conflicted mob boss Tony Soprano in the groundbreaking HBO series that aired from 1999 to 2007. His film credits included Zero Dark Thirty and Killing Them Softly, and he appeared in the Broadway production God Of Carnage.

"Our hearts are shattered and we will miss him deeply. He and his family were part of our family for many years and we are all grieving," Gandolfini's managers said.

Gandolfini's performance as Tony Soprano was indelible and career-making, but he refused to be stereotyped as the bulky mobster who was a therapy patient, family man and cold-blooded killer.

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