James Gandolfini's body to be returned to U.S. Monday

June 23, 2013 at 8:01 PM

HOLLYWOOD, June 23 (UPI) -- The family of deceased actor James Gandolfini thanked Italian and U.S. authorities for expediting the processes of returning his body to the United States.

The late actor's family initially anticipated his body would be returned to his home country Wednesday or Thursday after he died Thursday of a heart attack in Rome.

"We are now looking at hopefully getting James Gandolfini's remains back to the States tomorrow," Michael Kobold, the Gandolfini family's spokesman said Sunday in a statement. "The provisional plan is to depart Rome tomorrow afternoon and arrive in the United States in the evening.

"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."

Kobold also thanked U.S. officials for their assistance, The Hollywood Reporter said.

"We would like to thank the United States government, especially Secretary [of State John] Kerry and our friends at the State Department for helping us in this time of need," the family statement read. "Our expressed thanks to the people at the Italy desk at the State Department for working day and night on our behalf. We thank [former] President [Bill] Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for their kind support."

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