Belfast Telegraph

James Gandolfini funeral attended by thousands

James Gandolfini was honoured for his “huge heart and spirit” by 1,500 people at his public funeral service in New York City on Thursday.

A funeral was held for the Sopranos actor Thursday morning at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City.

James passed away last week at the age of 51 while he was on vacation in Italy with his 13-year-old son Michael. He suffered a heart attack and apparently Michael summoned help after finding his father collapsed in the bathroom of their hotel.

Variety reports the pews in Saint John the Divine were full as 1,500 friends, family members and fans attended the service to pay their respect to the actor. One speaker in particular noted the spacious place of worship was large enough to house the “huge heart and spirit” of James.

New Jersey governor Chris Christie, CEO of Paramount Pictures Brad Grey and The Sopranos colleagues David Chase, Jerry Adler, Lorraine Bracco, Vince Curatola, Edie Falco, Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Joe Pantoliano were all in attendance.

His widow Deborah Lin gave a poignant tribute to her husband, who was involved in multiple charity organisations throughout his life.

“He cared about others more than himself,” she said.

James’ former assistant Thomas Richardson will miss his kind boss.

Thomas described the star to the audience as “the most giving, generous person everyone here has ever known”.

James leaves behind his teenage son Michael from a previous marriage, wife Deborah and their eight-month-old child Liliana.

The actor’s family has asked people to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project instead of sending flowers, as supporting veterans was dear to James’ heart.

A private wake took place in the star’s hometown of Park Ridge, New Jersey on Wednesday.

Many are mourning the star across the world, with theatres on Broadway dimming their lights as a tribute to James yesterday.

Footage from his final movie Animal Rescue was played in Barcelona this week, with the audience applauding the film.

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