COURTESY WANDA KING
James Gandolfini married Deborah Lin on Saturday.
‘Sopranos’ star fills wedding day with laughs
, 46, the main man in HBO's "The Sopranos" crime family series, married Hawaii's Deborah Lin
, 40, a former model, in a short and sweet ceremony at Central Union Church on Saturday.
The reception at the Kahala Hotel was a fun-filled affair with Gandolfini and the bride's mom, Ruth Lin, playing a solid part in getting laughs from the crowd of 200. Ruth told emcee Esmund Chung, who did a fine job, that he did not introduce her properly. Gandolfini said to call her Mrs. Lin. Gandolfini and Ruth had a friendly fight for the microphone with Gandolfini giving in and saying that he was her "humble servant."
COURTESY DREA KIA
"Sopranos" co-star Tony Sirico posed with fans Judy Ezra, left, and Drea Kia.
Ruth said thanks to all for coming in English, Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese and gave a short speech in hastily learned Italian.
During the cocktail hour, Gandolfini walked with her through the crowd and introduced her as his "new boss." I have known mama Ruth for many years and I'm more afraid of her than I am of Tony Soprano.
Maid of honor Paula Hight is a fun girl and she was laughing and having a hard time trying to start her speech. Seeing her struggling, Gandolfini got up from his seat and gave her a glass of champagne. She downed a good slug and everything went well. Years ago when Paula and Deborah were in college together in California, Paula introduced her to Gandolfini. The two women are best friends, Paula said, and they worked as models together.
Another speaker was Gandolfini's 8-year old son, Michael, who was his dad's best man. He has hair falling to his shoulders and looked sharp in his tux. He said "Salute" and more. Other speakers included the bride's brother, Wendell Lin, who walked her down the aisle and also walked his mom down the aisle to her seat; and bridesmaid Eadie Miura, the bride's friend from school days. Even though Deborah is a former Miss Asia World and is graceful, Eadie made a crack about her big feet. The bride said "We love you all" and gave her bouquet to her mother. Gandolfini said Deborah has made him very happy and thanked his son for all he did.
Earlier in the evening, when the newlyweds cut the cake, Gandolfini's friends starting singing the Dean Martin
hit, "That's Amore," and the crowd joined in. One of Gandolfini's guys was Tony Sirico
, a regular on "The Sopranos," who played Paulie, and who has a shock of white hair on both sides of his head.
Ruth was a hula dancer in the late Alfred Apaka's group and danced to "The Hawaiian Wedding Song" as emcee Chung sang. She also did a hula to "I'll Remember You." Michael and some of Gandolfini's pals from the East Coast put on hula skirts and tried, I repeat, tried to hula to "All You Need is Love." They had a ball. There was also a lion dance.
It was a good night, with good food including duck breast, mahimahi, filet mignon and more from chef Wayne Hirabayashi's kitchen. Wine and other beverages were plentiful. Susan Tongg O'Donnell of Aloha Wedding Planners organized things. The newlyweds have departed for New York where another reception will be held. Ruth will be there ...
, who sold the Star-Bulletin in the streets of downtown Honolulu during World War II, writes of people, places and things in our Hawaii. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org