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Funeral plans set for Gandolfini

Funeral services for Sopranos star James Gandolfini has been set for Thursday at a church in New York City. The body of Gandolfini, who died last week of a heart attack, was flown out of Italy earlier today, according to airport authorities in Rome.

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Gandolfini was 'happy and healthy' before his death

A friend of Sopranos star James Gandolfini said the 51 year old was "happy" and "healthy" before his death.

Speaking in Rome, Michael Kobold told the waiting media, "Jim was happy, Jim was healthy ... everything was going great".

Sopranos star James Gandolfini died aged 51. Credit: Mark Large/PA Wire

Mr Kobald said it can take up to 10 days to repatriate a body in Italy, but the family hope Gandolfini's body will be put on a flight to the US either Wednesday or Thursday next week.

It is hoped the funeral will take place in New York by Saturday "at the latest", he added.

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