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Mourners and fans gather ahead of James Gandolfini funeral

Alec Baldwin, NJ Governor Chris Christie and dozens of ‘Sopranos’ actors amongst mourners.

Actors Steve Schirripa ('Bobby' in The Sopranos) and John Ventimiglia (Artie Bucco)
Actors Steve Schirripa ('Bobby' in The Sopranos) and John Ventimiglia (Artie Bucco)
Image: Richard Drew/AP/Press Association Images

EMOTIONAL CROWDS BEGAN gathering hours in advance of the New York city funeral of James Gandolfini today.

The actor – a three-time Emmy winner for his portrayal of New Jersey mobster Tony Soprano – died last week after a heart attack in a hotel in Rome, where he was on holiday. He was 51.

‘Sopranos’ fans began converging on the massive Manhattan cathedral that will play host to the star’s funeral early this morning.

“We’ve been up since 4:30,” said Stephanie Solana, a fan of “The Sopranos” who traveled to the Upper West Side from The Bronx with her two granddaughters to pay her respects.

“My heart is broken. It is really bad for the fans, but he will always live on for me. We’ll never forget him.”

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, Alec Baldwin and Edie Falco, who played Gandolfini’s on-screen wife Carmella, were among the hundreds of mourners arriving – along with dozens of actors who had roles in the long-running HBO series.

Read: ‘He was one of the greatest actors of this or any time’ – Sopranos creator David Chase >

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Read: PIC: ‘Reserved’ sign sits in Sopranos booth for James Gandolfini >

Mourners and fans gather ahead of James Gandolfini funeral
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  • Mourners arrive for James Gandolfini funeral

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, right, hugs actor Vincent Curatola. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  • Mourners arrive for James Gandolfini funeral

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  • Mourners arrive for James Gandolfini funeral

    Actors Steve Schirripa, centre, and John Ventimiglia arrive for the funeral.(AP Photo/Richard Drew)
  • Mourners arrive for James Gandolfini funeral

    Alec Baldwin, left, and his wife Hilaria Thomas at Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  • Mourners arrive for James Gandolfini funeral

    Actress Edie Falco embraces a woman as she arrives for the funeral service (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
  • Mourners arrive for James Gandolfini funeral

    Actor Dominic Chianese arrives for the funeral service of James Gandolfini, star of "The Sopranos," in New York's the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine.(AP Photo/Richard Drew)
  • Mourners arrive for James Gandolfini funeral

    Michael Gandolfini, left, son of James Gandolfini, arrives for the funeral service of his father, star of "The Sopranos," in New York's the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
  • Mourners arrive for James Gandolfini funeral

    A sightseeing tour bus drives past the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine ahead of the funeral service for James Gandolfini in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

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Daragh Brophy

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