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James Gandolfini’s friends, family gather at invite-only wake

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PARK RIDGE, NJ (PIX11) – At a private visitation in Park Ridge New Jersey, the friends and family  of  James Gandolfini wanted to talk about who he was when the cameras weren’t rolling. The man the fans didn’t know.

Under a shield of security, It seemed like an endless stream of mourners going into the Robert Spearling funeral home.  Then on the streets there were fans who just wanted to be here to pay their respects. Park Ridge is Gandolfini’s hometown.

Last week, Gandolfini’s 13-year-old-son found his father collapsed in Italy after a day of sightseeing with the family. This man tried to console his young son now fatherless inside the funeral home.

They sat outside stoically. Many spoke of the shock they were all in losing their hero as they called him, so unexpectedly.

The funeral will be held on Thursday at St. John the Divine Cathedral in Upper Manhattan at 10p.m.