Gandolfini: A big man and everyman is eulogized

June 28, 2013 • Entertainment

HBO CEO Richard Plepler, center, and David Chase, center right, producer of “The Sopranos”, walk out of Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine after funeral services for actor James Gandolfini, Thursday, June 27, 2013, in New York. Gandolfini, who played Tony Soprano in the hit HBO show, died while vacationing in Italy last week. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

NEW YORK (AP) — The funeral of James Gandolfini took place in one of the largest churches in the world and didn’t stint on ceremony.

Still, the estimated 1,500 mourners who gathered Thursday in New York’s Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine seemed part of an intimate affair. They came to pay their respects to a plain but complex man whose sudden death eight days before had left all of them feeling a loss.

During the service, Gandolfini was remembered by the creator of “The Sopranos” as an actor who had brought a key element to mob boss Tony Soprano: Tony’s inner child-like quality.

For a man who, in so many ways, was an unrepentant brute, that underlying purity was what gave viewers permission to love him.

“You brought ALL of that to it,” said David Chase in remarks he delivered as if an open letter to his fallen Login to read more

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