James Gandolfini’s Funeral Plans Set After the Clintons, John Kerry + More Help Get Him Home
It took a US President and two Secretaries of State to make it happen, but following James Gandolfini's unexpected death in Italy on June 19, the body of the 'Sopranos' actor is back on American soil, and plans have been made to lay him to rest.
An HBO spokesperson speaking on behalf of Gandolfini's family says funeral services will be held Thursday (June 27) at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City at 10:00 a.m.
The body arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport in Galdolfini's home state of New Jersey on Sunday night, according to Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman. But not without a little red tape-wrangling from Secretary of State John Kerry, who stepped in to help bring Gandolfini home with an assist from Hillary and Bill Clinton.
Gandolfini's spokesperson released a statement on behalf of the Gandolfini family saying:
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. We are fully aware that this process usually takes seven days and we are extremely grateful for their efficiency in dealing with this matter.
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.
The Taormina Film Festival also paid a tear-filled tribute to the late actor on Saturday (June 22). As you may know, he had a sudden heart attack and passed away when he was in Sicily to appear at the festival and receive an award.