James Gandolfini's body is being flown from Italy to the United States and will arrive in New York City tonight, family spokesman Michael Kobold told reporters yesterday at Rome's Boscolo Exedra Hotel, where The Sopranos star suffered a heart on Wednesday.

The actor's funeral will take place this Thursday at 10 a.m. at Manhattan's Cathedral of St. John the Divine, according to Us Weekly.

Kobold read a statement yesterday thanking Italian authorities, the United States government, United Airlines, and HBO for their support and for expediting the process of flying the actor's body to the States.

"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," he said. "We are fully aware that this process usually takes seven days and we are extremely grateful for their efficiency in dealing with this matter."

The legendary actor's 13-year-old son, Michael, found him collapsed in his hotel room bathroom, Gandolfini's manager, Mark Armstrong, told Reuters in an email. The three-time Emmy-winner had been vacationing in Rome and was scheduled to attend the closing of the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily last Saturday to receive an award.

Michael alerted Boscolo Exedra Roma hotel staff about the emergency. Paramedics then attempted in vain to revive the actor en route to the Policlinico Umberto I hospital. Doctors tried to resuscitate Gandolfini for almost an hour at the hospital before declaring him dead.

"The resuscitation maneuvers, including heart massage, continued for 40 minutes and then, seeing no electric activity from the heart, this was interrupted and we declared Gandolfini dead," Dr. Claudio Modini told Reuters.