(CNN) -- The body of actor James Gandolfini has been returned to the United States, a family friend said Monday. A charter flight to Newark, New Jersey, on Sunday night carried the body of the "Sopranos" star, Michael Kobold said.

An autopsy determined his death was the result of a heart attack, Kobold said.

A funeral service for family and friends is scheduled for Thursday in New York, Kobold said. It will be held at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in Manhattan.

Gandolfini, 51, died last week while on a working vacation in Rome. He arrived there with his son, Michael, the day before he died. "Jim was happy, he was healthy, he was doing really fine," Kobold said recently. "He was on vacation with his son. He has an 8-month-old daughter. Everything was going great. I just spoke to him on Father's Day."

The same day Gandolfini died, he had visited the Vatican and dined with his son, the family said. After he returned to his room, his son alerted hotel staff that he was not answering knocks on the bathroom door.

James Gandolfini will be buried on Thursday at the famed Saint John the Divine cathedral in Manhattan, HBO announced on Sunday. "We can confirm, on behalf of the Gandolfini Family, that the funeral service for James Gandolfini will be held Thursday, June 27th.

The service will be held at 10:00 AM at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in Manhattan," the statement said. The sudden death of the iconic actor at 51 on Wednesday, who was on vacation with his family at the time, shocked Hollywood and his legions of fans. ...

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