James Gandolfini's Funeral Preparations Begin & Hearts are Heavy in Hollywood

James GandolfiniBeloved actor James Gandolfini died unexpectedly last week of a heart attack (as confirmed by autopsy), leaving his family, friends, co-workers like Brad Pitt, and fans stunned. Gandolfini entertained audiences with his portrayal of mobster Tony Soprano for which he won three Emmys. He was in Italy to receive a film award and by all accounts was having an enjoyable trip. His 13-year-old son was with him when he fell ill and made the call for help.

Gandolfini's wife Deborah Lin, who was in Rome with Gandolfini when he died, was spotted shopping back in the states on Friday. Photos of Lin at Bloomingdale's and Macy's show her looking at baby clothes (Gandolfini and Lin had a 9-month-old daughter Lilliana) and a women's black blazer. It was her first public appearance since her husband's death.


Italian authorities have confirmed that Gandolfini's body is on its way back to the United States and should be somewhere in the U.S. on Monday (exact destination is unclear). James' sister Leta Gandolfini had been in Italy negotiating for the release of the body.

Gandolfini family spokesman Michael Kobold, said:

On behalf of the Gandolfini family, 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. It has been our privilege to be guests in your beautiful country, despite the difficult circumstances. We sincerely thank you.

The funeral services for James Gandolfini will be held Thursday, June 27, at 10:00 a.m. at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in Manhattan.

It must have been very difficult for Lin to leave her husband's body in Italy and come back to the U.S. without him. Our thoughts are with her and all of Gandolfini's family as they prepare for his funeral.


Image via HBO

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