Fans gather at funeral of Gandolfini
NEW YORK - Agence France-Presse
Actor James Gandolfini, the star of ‘The Sopranos, died June 19 after a heart attack in a hotel in Rome. AFP photoFamily, friends and fans united in grief June 28 in an emotional sendoff for James Gandolfini, star of the hit TV series “The Sopranos.” Gandolfini, a three-time Emmy winner for his portrayal of emotionally vulnerable New Jersey mobster Tony Soprano, died June 19 after a heart attack in a hotel in Rome, where he was traveling with his 13-year-old son. He was 51.
Mourners converged on the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, an Episcopal church that is among the world’s biggest, well before the mid-morning start of Gandolfini’s funeral.
Some 1,500 people filled the pews, including Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, the state across the Hudson River from New York City where Gandolfini was born and “The Sopranos” was set. Present as well for the two-hour funeral were cast members of the HBO series, whose creator David Chase delivered a eulogy in the form of a letter to his fellow American of Italian heritage.
Gandolfini had a long film and stage career before lending his heavy stature and big grin to play a depressed mafioso in “The Sopranos,” the celebrated series ran from 1999 to 2007 in the U.S.