The body of actor James Gandolfini arrived in New Jersey last night. Gandolfini passed away while vacationing in Rome last week, and his family thanked the Italian and U.S. government for helping expedite the process of returning the body.
The funeral for Gandolfini will be held on Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. John Divine in Morningside Heights. The Daily News notes that Gandolfini was Catholic and St. John the Divine is an Episcopalian church, adding that many other famous people (Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, James Baldwin, Nikola Tesla, Mayor John Lindsay, Dizzy Gillespie, Jim Henson, George Balanchine) also had funeral services there. Our guess: The seating capacity for St. Patrick's Cathedral in Midtown is about 2500; St. John the Divine's nave can hold 6,000. Plus, it's probably easier to manage traffic uptown, versus in Midtown.
WHEREAS, James Gandolfini was an iconic actor, who left a timeless impact upon television and film in the State of New Jersey and across our Nation; and
WHEREAS, James Gandolfini was born in Westwood, New Jersey, on September 18, 1961, and grew up in Park Ridge, New Jersey;
WHEREAS, James Gandolfini graduated from Park Ridge High School in 1979, where he played basketball and starred in school plays; and
WHEREAS, James Gandolfini graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University, and began to pursue what would become an extraordinarily successful acting career; and
WHEREAS, James Gandolfini’s most popularly acclaimed role was the part of Tony Soprano, the lead character in the television drama The Sopranos, which debuted in 1999 and continued through 2007; and
WHEREAS, James Gandolfini appeared on Broadway and in several films, including True Romance, Terminal Velocity, Get Shorty, The Juror, The Mexican and The Taking of Pelham 123; and
WHEREAS, James Gandolfini produced two documentaries, Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq and Wartorn: 1861-2010, which revealed the immense challenges faced by servicemembers and veterans integrating back into society; and
WHEREAS, James Gandolfini passed away suddenly on June 19, 2013; and
WHEREAS, it is with profound sadness that we mourn the loss of James Gandolfini and extend our sincere sympathy to his family, friends, and countless fans; and
WHEREAS, it is appropriate to recognize the achievements and contributions, to honor the memory, and to mark the passing of James Gandolfini;