- (Photo: Twitter)
James Gandolfini will be laid to rest today in New York City as friends, family and supporters express their condolences for an actor taken before his time.
The funeral service will be held at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine and is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. local time.
Mourners included several members of The Sopranos cast and fans lined the streets outside the church ahead of the service hoping they would also be allowed inside to pay their respects.
The funeral comes after a private wake was held for family and friends on Wednesday in New Jersey.
The actor's son Michael, 13, reportedly found his father alive in the bathroom of their Rome hotel room after the actor suffered an apparent heart attack.
Hotel employees attempted to resuscitate Gandolfini, 51, as they waited for emergency crews to arrive. The actor was still alive when paramedics arrived, but was later pronounced dead at Policlinico Umberto I hospital, located about three minutes away from the hotel.
"This is young to have a heart attack, even when you look at any pre-existing health conditions," CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta explained.
Co-workers and fans had paid glowing respects to Gandolfini online in the wake of the news of his death.
"Too soon to lose such a gifted actor of screen & stage. Great Jersey guy. Missing James Gandolfini this morning & the days to follow," tweeted Rachael Ray.
The actor was in Italy to make an appearance at the Taormina Film Fest in Sicily reports CNN.
"It is with immense sorrow that we report our client, James Gandolfini, passed away today while on holiday in Rome, Italy," managers Mark Armstrong and Nancy Sanders said in a joint statement according to CNN. "Our hearts are shattered and we will miss him deeply. He and his family were part of our family for many years and we are all grieving."
Gandolfini leaves behind wife Deborah, and two children, nine-month-old Liliana and 13-year-old Michael from a previous marriage.