Stars of the long-running HBO drama “The Sopranos” came out in force today for the funeral of series star James Gandolfini, with the show’s creator David Chase among those eulogizing the actor, Reuters reports.
“Most of the cast of ‘The Sopranos,’ including Edie Falco, who played Tony Soprano’s wife, and Michael Imperioli, who played his nephew Christopher Moltisanti, attended the 90-minute ceremony at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in upper Manhattan,” the story reports.
Commenting on the funeral, actor George Loros, who played mobster and FBI informant Ray Curto on “The Sopranos,” said: "It was heaven on earth. You could feel James’ presence.”
Describing Gandolfini, Loros added: "He could be talking like you and I are talking right now, and then he could be called to the set and be just brutal (as an actor). He had such a God-given gift."
Gandolfini died a week ago in Rome after suffering a heart attack. He was 51.
“Scores of fans waited in the sweltering heat to get a glimpse of actors Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, Chris Noth and Julianna Margulies, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as they entered the cathedral,” Reuters reports. “Other fans managed to get into the funeral service, which was led by the Very Reverend Dr. James A. Kowalski.”
The piece notes: “On Wednesday about 100 people attended a private wake for the actor in New Jersey. Gandolfini, who was raised in a working-class neighborhood, shared Tony Soprano’s Italian-American heritage and New Jersey roots.”
Gandolfini, who also appeared on the stage, was honored Wednesday night by Broadway theaters with a dimming of their marquees, the report adds.
“Gandolfini collapsed in the bathroom of his hotel room in Rome while vacationing with his 13-year-old son, Michael. He had been scheduled to attend the closing of the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily. He body was flown to the United States on Sunday,” the Reuters story reports.
“Gandolfini’s portrayal of a gangster who ordered hits on his enemies and saw a therapist to talk about his insecurities was the signature role of his career and won him three Emmy Awards as best actor in a drama series. The show ran for six seasons.”