Stars Gather to Mourn and Pay Their Respects at James Gandolfini’s Funeral [PHOTOS]
It was the ‘Sopranos’ reunion no one ever wanted to happen.
Following a private wake, a 90-minute public service was held at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City, where friends and family eulogized the late actor.
Speakers included Gandolfini’s wife, Deborah Lin Gandolfini, family friend Thomas Richardson, Gandolfini’s high school friend Clinton Scott, ‘Sopranos’ collaborator Susan Aston, and ‘Sopranos’ creator David Chase. Gandolfini’s sister Johanna Antonacci and actor Lennie Loftin also performed readings.
Said Gandolfini’s wife in her tear-filled eulogy, “Jim, one of the things I loved the most was watching you be the father that you were to Michael and Lily. Thank you for the memories of the beautiful life we shared together. I love you Jim and I always will.”
“James, my big teddy bear of a friend, I miss you now,” Aston added in her equally emotional speech. “Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for allowing me to love you. Thank you for loving me. And thank you for loving all of us.”
Chase chose to write his eulogy in letter-form, saying in part, “And that’s why I think you were such a great actor, because of that boy inside. I think your talent is that you can take the immensity of humankind and the universe and shine it right back at us.”
The funeral began at 10:00 a.m., and mourners included Gandolfini’s ‘Sopranos’ co-stars Steve Buscemi, Mike Imperioli, Vincent Pastore, Jamie Lynn Sigler, Edie Falco, Joe Pantoliano, Dominic Chianese, Tony Sirico, Steve Schirripa, Vincent Curatola, Jerry Alder and John Ventimiglia.
Also in attendance were New Jersey governor Chris Christie, chef Mario Batali, and actors Stanley Tucci and Alec Baldwin.
To conclude the service, Baritone Jesse Blumberg sang ‘Bring Him Home’ from the play ‘Les Miserables’ and Broadway star Amy Justman sang ‘Ava Maria’ before the assembled crowd took Communion.