Sopranos actor James Gandolfini’s funeral is set for Thursday at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City, according to an announcement made by HBO on Sunday.
The news about Gandolfini’s funeral came after family friend Michael Kobold stated that the actor’s body would return to the United States on Monday.
The Sopranos actor died last Wednesday of a heart attack at the age of 51. He passed away while in Rome on a working vacation with his son.
Gandolfini was supposed to head to Sicily to appear at the Taormina Film Festival, where he was to receive an award. Instead, the festival paid tribute to him on Saturday.
Speaking on behalf of his family, an HBO spokeswoman announced that James Gandolfini’s funeral will begin at 10 am EDT. An earlier announcement made by Port Authority of New York & New Jersey spokesman Steve Coleman confirmed that the actor’s body reached Newark Liberty International Airport from Rome on Sunday night.
The flight was not expected to arrive in the US until Monday evening. However, it appears that officials in Italy and the United States were able to expedite the process of returning Gandolfini’s body. The actor won three Emmy awards for The Sopranos TV show, on which he played New Jersey mobster Tony Soprano.
The role paved the way for other dramas to use an “anti-hero.” The television show aired from 1999 until 2077 and also helped bring the spotlight on HBO as a respected TV show competitor. Along with The Sopranos, James Gandolfini also took part in movies Zero Dark Thirty and Killing Them Softly.
While Gandolfini was raised Catholic, the choice of an Episcopal church is not too strange. Several notable figures have had funerals at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, including Jim Henson, Nikola Tesla, and former mayor John Lindsay.
It is not clear if a live broadcast is planned for James Gandolfini’s funeral, or whether the funeral is available to the public.
[Image via Simon.Absonditus]