James Gandolfini’s body will return to the United States on Monday evening, according to a spokesman for the late actor’s family. Gandolfini died last week while on vacation in Rome, Italy.
Family spokesman Michael Kobold explained on Sunday morning that the flight taking Gandolfini’s body to the United States is set to depart Rome on Monday afternoon and arrive in the United States in the evening.
The repatriation of the actor’s remains was apparently helped along by Italian and US authorities, including Secretary of State John Kerry. Kobold added:
“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.”
James Gandolfini, 51, was on a working vacation in Rome when he had a heart attack last Wednesday. The Sopranos actor arrived in Rome with his son, Michael Gandolfini, one day before his death. Kobold stated that he also spoke with the actor on Father’s Day. The day he died, Gandolfini visited the Vatican and had dinner with his son.
But his son alerted hotel staff when his father didn’t answer knocks on the bathroom door. Hotel staff broke down the door to James Gandolfini’s room and called an ambulance. Unfortunately, it was too late. Despite 40 minutes of trying, emergency workers were unable to resuscitate the actor.
Tributes to the late actor have flooded in, along with condolences to Gandolfini’s family. Along with fellow actors and directors he worked with, James Gandolfini was also remembered by employees at the Hotel Boscolo, where he died.
During his stay, the actor took time to sign autographs. One employee added that he was “very friendly with us from hotel’s staff and with other guests in the restaurant. A nice person.”
With the return of James Gandolfini’s body on Monday, the late actor’s family announced that a funeral is planned for Thursday.