James Gandolfini’s body is back in his home state of New Jersey following his untimely death at the age of 51 in Rome last Wednesday from a heart attack.
Gandolfini’s remains arrived in Newark, New Jersey on Sunday, June 23 inside a chartered plane that landed in the city’s International Airport before he was then transferred to a local funeral home.
Michael Kobold, Gandolfini’s spokesman, said in a statement on Sunday, “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.”
Kobold went to specifically thank former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, and his wife, Hillary, as well as the current United States Secretary of State, John Kerry.
He added, “We would like to thank the United States government, especially Secretary Kerry and our friends at the State Department for helping us in this time of need. Our expressed thanks to the people at the Italy desk at the State Department for working day and night on our behalf. We thank President Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for their kind support.”
Kobold also stated, “And we would like to applaud Vice Consul Patricia Hill and her colleagues at the consular section at the U.S. Embassy here in Rome for being so courteous and helpful throughout this difficult process.”
It has now also been revealed that Gandolfini’s funeral will take place on Thursday, June 27. The service will begin at 10:00am at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in Manhattan.
Gandolfini was in Italy to attend the Taormina Film Festival with his 13-year-old son, Michael, when he collapsed and perished due to a heart attack. He is survived by his wife, Deborah Lin, and their 9-month-old daughter, Liliana, as well as Michael.