James Gandolfini was reportedly on a “boys’ trip” in Rome with his 13-year-old son, Michael, when he tragically died of a heart attack on Wednesday. According to reports, his son was the first to recognize that something had gone wrong and tried to save Gandolfini’s life.
The renowned 51-year-old “Sopranos” actor had been vacationing in Italy ahead of the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily, where he was scheduled to make an appearance, an HBO rep confirmed to the New York Times. Gandolfini’s assistant Tom Richardson said that their entourage had just returned to the Hotel Boscolo in Rome and Gandolfini had stepped away to use the bathroom before he suffered a heart attack.
Gandolfini was also travelling with his wife Deborah Lin and their baby daughter Liliana, as well as his sister, and the star’s assistant Tom Richardson has revealed tragedy struck after the family enjoyed a fun day out sightseeing.
He says, “We all had a marvelous day together, and when he returned to the hotel Jimmy (Gandolfini) went to the bathroom and that is where something happened. His sister said he was still alive when the ambulance took him away.”
Hospital officials have revealed the star died after suffering a cardiac arrest, but his official cause of death will need to be confirmed by an autopsy, which has been scheduled for Friday (21Jun13).
Claudio Modini, director of the emergency room at the hospital, says in a statement, “We were alerted by the director of the Boscolo Hotel Exedra and sent two ambulances. They arrived within eight minutes. They tried to revive Mr. Gandolfini, (who was) in cardiac arrest, (and) was already critical. Efforts to restart his heart at the hospital went on for 40 minutes, with no effect. He was pronounced dead at 10:40 p.m.”