James Gandolfini’s 13-year-old son Michael joined mourners including Edith “Edie” Falco, Gandolfini’s on-screen wife Carmela in the HBO hit The Sopranos at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in NYC for the funeral ceremony, which was scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. local time.
Before proceedings got underway, seven men could be seen escorting James Gandolfini’s casket, covered in a brown sheet, the church – one of the largest in New York.
Other cast members who came to pay their respects included pregnant Jamie Lynn Sigler, who played Tony Soprano’s daughter Meadow, Aida Turturro, who played his sister Janice, John Ventimiglia, who portrayed Artie Bucco, and Michael Imperioli, who starred as Tony’s nephew Christopher Moltisanti.
New Jersey governor Chris Christie arrived to say goodbye to the man who hailed from his state while James Gandolfini fans lined the streets, hoping they would also be allowed inside the church to mourn the passing of the great actor.
The funeral comes after a private wake was held for family and friends on Wednesday in New Jersey.
The 51-year-old died of a heart attack last week while vacationing in Italy with his son Michael.
The ceremony will include a film tribute produced and filmed by HBO for James Gandolfini’s family, the New York Post reported.
HBO crew members have been mapping out the scene at The Church of Saint John the Divine Cathedral since Monday to shoot a video of the Sopranos cast at the actor’s final curtain call.
Cameramen will be posted around the massive cathedral on Amsterdam Avenue and 112th Street, but the footage will not be aired. It will be a private gift to the family from the network, sources say.
“HBO is running the show,” a source said.
“They’re paying for everything.
“They originally wanted the cast members to file in through the front door, but it would have created [chaos], so now they’re going to escort them to private property and they’re going to walk in through the side.”
Both James Gandolfini ‘s widow Deborah Lin and his first wife Marcy Wudarski were among the mourners at Wednesday’s wake.
It was invitation-only wake and held at the Robert Spearing Funeral Home in Park Ridge, near Westwood where James Gandolfini grew up.
Meanwhile, Broadway theatres in New York City dimmed their marquee lights on Wednesday night in memory of the late Sopranos star, who earned a Tony Award nomination in 2009 for his role in the award-winning God of Carnage.
Meanwhile, James Gandolfini’s former Sopranos costar Lillo Brancato Jr. spoke about his shock at the actor’s passing.
Lillo Brancato is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence at Hudson Correctional Facility in New York for his role in a robbery that left a police officer dead.
“I couldn’t believe my ears,” Lillo Brancato told The New York Daily News.
“I thought it was a mistake.”
James Gandolfini and Marcy Wudarski divorced in December 2002, and their 13-year-old son Michael allegedly found his father’s body after he died.
Marcy Wudarski and James Gandolfini endured a turbulent separation and divorce but are thought to have grown closer over shared custody of their boy during recent years.
On August 30, 2008, after two years of dating, James Gandolfini married former model Deborah Lin in her hometown of Honolulu, Hawaii.
Their baby daughter Liliana Ruth Gandolfini, was born in October 2012 in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, in Barcelona, the first showing of James Gandolfini’s work in crime-drama Animal Rescue was greeted with a reverential silence and respectful applause.