When James Gandolfini arrived at the Rome hospital to which he was taken after suffering a heart attack, emergency doctors worked for 40 minutes trying to resuscitate him before pronouncing him dead, the emergency room chief said on Thursday.
Gandolfini, 51, was on vacation in Rome and was scheduled to attend the closing ceremonies at the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily on Saturday.
His 13 year-old son was the one that found him unconscious on the bathroom floor of his hotel, stated Gandolfini’s agent Mark Armstrong, in an email.
The actor, who became a household name for his portrayal of Tony Soprano, in the hit TV show The Sopranos, was taken to the Umberto I hospital late on Wednesday, according to a hospital spokesperson.
“The resuscitation maneuvers, including heart massage, etc., continued for 40 minutes and then, seeing no electric activity from the heart, this was interrupted and we declared James dead,” Claudio Modini, the emergency room chief, told Reuters.
“The patient was considered dead on arrival, and for that reason an autopsy has been requested to be carried out by a pathologist, as is normal procedure in our country.”
The autopsy on James Gandolfini took place on Friday morning.
Since the ending of The Sopranos, the actor has been part of some successful films including, Killing Them Softly and Zero Dark Thirty. He was getting ready for a new HBO series called Criminal Minds and had two movies due out next year.
Gandolfini hinted that the demands of playing Soprano had taken its toll when he commented after the final season:
“I’m too tired to be a tough guy or any of that stuff anymore,” he said. “We pretty much used all that up in this show.”
In 2002, a representative for Gandolfini confirmed to media that Gandolfini had struggled with substance abuse problems in the past. These allegations first came to light while he was getting divorced from his first wife, Marcy Wudarski.
James Gandolfini is survived by his wife, Deborah Lin, whom he married in 2008, his son Michael, and baby daughter Liliana, born last year.