James Gandolfini died of heart attack, autopsy shows, visited Vatican
Results from an autopsy done on actor James Gandolfini confirms the actor died of a heart attack and that there was no evidence of anything else in his system at the time of his death, a spokesman for the Gandolfini family said during a press conference on Friday, June 21.
News first broke of Gandolfini's death at age 51 on Wednesday, June 19.
Michael Kobold, the family spokesman, said during the press conference that Gandolfini arrived in Rome, Italy, on Tuesday, June 18. The "Sopranos" star visited the Vatican and had dinner at his hotel with his teenage son. The press conference can be viewed in the video above.
"Today, we received the results of the autopsy, which stated he died of a heart attack, of natural causes," Kobold said. "The autopsy further states that nothing else was found in his system. We are all devastated by this loss. James was a devoted husband, a loving father of two children and a brother and cousin you could always count on."
According to The Associated Press, Gandolfini died Wednesday night and his body was discovered in a Rome hotel room by a family member.
Kobold told reporters that Gandolfini's body has been released to a funeral director in Italy and while it would usually take up to 10 days to get the necessary paperwork to get the body to the United States, Kobold said the Italian government is working with the family to speed up the bureaucratic process.
"We are looking forward to working with the Italian government, the officials, to shorten that process. It looks like they are doing everything on their end, which is wonderful, so that we can get James' body back sooner," he said. "Once we have the clearance, we will put him on a flight to America. We expect that to be Wednesday [June 26], maybe Thursday [June 27], but we will keep you informed."
"The funeral will be in New York and we hope that it will be on Thursday, Friday, latest Saturday [June 29]," Kobold said during the press conference. "Again, this is up to the Italian authorities."
Kobold also said that Gandolfini was "happy" when he spoke to him on June 16, Father's Day.
"Jim was happy, he was healthy, he was doing really fine. I mean, he's on vacation with his son. He has an 8-month-old daughter. Everything was going great," Kobold said. "I just spoke to him on Father's Day and he was fine, he was happy. He was a good guy."
According to the AP, Gandolfini was set to appear during the closing ceremony at the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily on Saturday, June 22. Now the festival is reportedly organizing a tribute to him.
Gandolfini is likely best known for his role as Tony Soprano on "The Sopranos," which ran for six seasons from 1999 to 2007. He won three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe for the role.Edie Falco, who co-starred with Gandolfini on "The Sopranos" as Tony's wife Carmela, said in a statement released on Thursday that she was "shocked and devastated" by Gandolfini's death.
Gandolfini was also known for roles in films like "True Romance," "Get Shorty" and "Crimson Tide." He is survived by his wife, Deborah Lin, a son from a previous marriage and an 8-month-old baby daughter.
(Check out other celebrities' reactions to James Gandolfini's death -- includes Olivia Wilde and Susan Sarandon.)