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James Gandolfini died of cardiac arrest

2013-06-20 14:15
james gandolfini
Los Angeles - Sopranos actor James Gandolfini died on Wednesday after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Dr Claudio Modini, head of the emergency room at the Policlinic Umberto I hospital in Rome, said Gandolfini arrived at the hospital at 10:40 on Wednesday and was pronounced dead at 11:00 after resuscitation efforts in the ambulance and hospital failed, Modini said.

Modini told The Associated Press that an autopsy would be performed starting 24 hours after the death, as required by law.

The US Embassy in Rome, which said it had learned about the death from the media, said it would be available to provide a death certificate and help prepare the body for return to the United States.

The Embassy said it can often take between four and seven days to arrange shipment outside of Italy.

The Embassy spokesperson declined further comment, directing inquiries to the family.

Honoured with a tribute

Organisers of the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily were scrambling to put together a tribute to Gandolfini, who had been expected to attend the festival's closing ceremony this weekend and receive an award.

Organisers Mario Sesti and Tiziana Rocca said Gandolfini will instead be honoured with a tribute "remembering his career and talent".

Sesti and Rocca said they had spoken to Gandolfini hours before his death "and he was very happy to receive this prize and be able to travel to Italy".

Joe Gannascoli, who played Vito Spatafore on the drama series, said he was shocked and heartbroken.

"Fifty-one and leaves a kid - he was newly married. His son is fatherless now. ... It's way too young," Gannascoli said.

Gandolfini and his wife, Deborah, who were married in 2008, have a daughter, Liliana, born last year, HBO said. The actor and his former wife, Marcy, have a teenage son, Michael.

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