The body of actor James Gandolfini is set to return to the U.S. Monday. Gandolfini, best known for his sympathetic portrayal of mob boss Tony Soprano on “The Sopranos,” died of a heart attack in Rome last Wednesday. Gandolfini family representative Michael Kobold said the actor’s remains will depart Italy in the morning and arrive in the U.S. in the evening, according to ABC News.
“We are now looking at hopefully getting James Gandolfini’s remains back to the States tomorrow. The provisional plan is to depart Rome tomorrow afternoon and arrive in the U.S. in the evening,” Kobold said in a statement. In it, he thanked Italian authorities for their help in transporting Gandolfini back to the U.S. “On behalf of the Gandolfini family, I would like to thank the Italian authorities for all the assistance they have rendered in expediting the formalities necessary to repatriate James Gandolfini’s remains to the United States. It has been our privilege to be guests in your beautiful country, despite the difficult circumstances. We sincerely thank you,” he said.
Kobold also thanked U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton for their help in arranging the return of Gandolfini’s body, the Associated Press reported.
Gandolfini spent the day of his death touring Rome a few days before he was to attend the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily. He was set to receive the Taormina City Prize for his achievements as an actor. Before his death, he has showed no signs of serious illness.
“Jim was a really happy guy, especially because he’d just had a baby daughter eight months ago,” Kobold said. “He was extremely happy. He was healthy. There was nothing wrong with him, so this came as a surprise and a total shock.”
Over the weekend, an autopsy confirmed that Gandolfini’s cause of death was indeed a heart attack.