The actor’s widow, Deborah Lin, and their 8-month-old daughter, Liliana, were among the first mourners to arrive, having flown in from California, reports New York’s Daily News.
“It’s a nightmare for the whole family. It’s a horrible, horrible thing, everybody is just devastated, Bob Price, whose wife is a cousin of the late star, told the newspaper. “This man was everybody’s hero. It’s just the worst thing that could have happened.”
Friends and family members left flowers at the Robert Spearing Funeral Home in Park Ridge, N.J., near where Gandolfini had grown up. Broadway theaters also paid tribute to him, dimming their marquee lights in his memory this week.
Gandolfini, who won three Emmys playing Tony Soprano, also was nominated for a Tony Award in 2009 for his role in the comedy-drama God of Carnage.
A funeral service for Gandolfini will be held Thursday morning at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
According to a spokesperson, the 90-minute service for will be led by the Very Rev. Dr. James A. Kowalski, Dean, the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine.
Remembrances will be provided by Deborah Lin Gandolfini; family friends Thomas Richardson and Susan Aston; and David Chase, the creator and executive producer of The Sopranos.
Music will range from traditional hymns to contemporary selections.
More James Gandolfini Coverage:
• James Gandolfini’s Teen Son Called for Help from Hotel Room: Report
• James Gandolfini Dies at Age 51
• ON EW.COM: Tony Soprano’s 15 Best Quotes
• Edie Falco Remembers James Gandolfini’s ‘Tremendous Depth and Sensitivity’
• Remembering James Gandolfini: Famous Fans Mourn the Actor Online
James Gandolfini: His Iconic Roles