Actor James Gandolfini's funeral on Thursday

NEW YORK - A funeral service for actor James Gandolfini took place Thursday in one of New York City's largest churches.

The ceremony at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine comes after a private wake for the former star of "The Sopranos" on Wednesday in New Jersey.

The 51-year-old actor died of a heart attack last week while vacationing in Italy with his son.

Broadway theaters paid tribute by dimming their lights briefly Wednesday night. Gandolfini was nominated for a Tony Award in 2009 as an actor in "God of Carnage."

The creator of "The Sopranos" said Gandolfini brought the traits of a sad boy to his role as an aging mobster.

David Chase read a eulogy written as a letter to the actor, and in it, he said he felt that in Gandolfini he was seeing a young boy as well as a man.

"You could see it in your eyes. That's why you were a great actor," Chase said.

The actor was best known for his role as mob boss Tony Soprano in the HBO series.

Edie Falco, Lorraine Bracco, Steve Buscemi, Alec Baldwin and Steve Carell were among the mourners.

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