'Sopranos' fans gather for Gandolfini funeral

Emotional crowds gathered at a Manhattan church Thursday for the funeral of James Gandolfini, star of the cult TV series "The Sopranos."

Gandolfini, a three-time Emmy winner for his portrayal of New Jersey mobster Tony Soprano, died June 19 after a heart attack in a hotel in Rome, where he was on holiday. He was 51.

Mourners converged on the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, an Episcopal church that is among the world's biggest, well before the scheduled 10:00 am (1400 GMT) start of the funeral.

"We've been up since 4:30 this morning," 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, the state across the Hudson River from New York where Gandolfini was born, and actor Alec Baldwin were among those attending the funeral.