James Gandolfini’s body is back in the United States and his family says his funeral will be held Thursday morning at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City.
The 51-year-old star of “The Sopranos” died of a heart attack Wednesday in Rome. The actor had been headed to Sicily to appear at the Taormina Film Festival, which paid tribute to him Saturday.
A different ‘Sopranos’ tour
Over the weekend, the “Sopranos” tour bus made its weekly run past dozens of North Jersey show sites, just as it has been doing for more than a decade. But with Gandolfini’s death, this tour was different. Tour bus riders — they start in midtown Manhattan and quickly get to observe sights from the show’s famed opening scenes — typically aren’t allowed to take any photos inside Satin Dolls, the Lodi strip club on Route 17 that was known as the “Bada Bing” on the show.
But management this time allowed photos of a modest memorial at “Tony’s spot” in the club — where a framed photo of a downcast Tony Soprano was placed above a “SOPRANOS” New Jersey license plate and two black T-shirts bearing the fictitious name of the club.
Paula Deen loses part of her empire
Smithfield Foods said it is dropping Paula Deen as a spokeswoman. The announcement came days after the Food Network said it would not renew the celebrity cook’s contract in the wake of revelations that she used racial slurs in the past. QVC also said it is reviewing its deal with Paula Deen Enterprises to sell the star’s cookbooks and cookware. Sears said the company “is currently exploring next steps as they pertain to Ms. Deen’s products.” Wal-Mart, which sells Deen’s cookware, was expected to have a statement later.
concert news: After a summer of outdoor gigs around the globe, Mumford & Sons will finally head indoors to play a hockey arena in Minnesota: The folky British pickers confirmed a Sept. 4 date at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. For tickets, fans have to register via MumfordAndSons.com between now and July 3 to receive an e-mail offer, which will be sent out lottery-style July 8. The seats are priced $49 and $35. Fellow Englishmen the Vaccines will open. The band announced new tour dates Monday following the recovery of bassist Ted Dwayne, whose hospitalization two weeks ago for a blood clot on his brain forced the band to cancel its Bonnaroo fest appearance and other dates.
staff and wire reports