James Gandolfini's 13-year-old son, Michael, is undoubtedly grieving the loss of his father. He was also the one to first find the Sopranos star collapsed in a bathroom and call for help.
The 51-year-old actor suffered a suspected heart attack in his room at Hotel Boscolo in Rome, Italy, around 10 p.m. Antonio D'amore, who runs the hotel, told Today that James' teenage son was with his father in the room and called for help. Hotel staff subsequently rushed to the room and found the Emmy winner collapsed on the bathroom floor.
Workers attempted to resuscitate him, but he was later pronounced dead at the Policlinico Umberto I hospital, which is approximately a three-minute drive from the hotel. The hospital's ER director said the actor arrived at the emergency room "in a cardiac arrest, accompanied by ambulance of the 118 service [similar to 911 in the U.S.]." Unfortunately, "the attempts to rescue failed, and at 23:00 [11 p.m.] the patient died, formally died."
Gandolfini's sister was also there in Rome with her brother. Tom Richardson, Gandolfini's assistant, told USA Today that the actor's "sister said he was still alive when the ambulance took him away."
On Thursday, the actor's body was transported to the municipal morgue in Rome on Thursday, and an autopsy will be conducted within the next 24 hours as per Italian law requirements.
The actor was supposed to receive an award in Taormina, Italy, on Saturday at the Taormina Film Fest. The festival issued a statement saying that "Gandolfini has been the American actor who best represented the Italian-American society thanks to his personality rich of contrasts, ambitions, anguish and humor. He has represented the golden age of television being at the same time a memorable movie actor." The festival is currently in the process of organizing a tribute for the late star.
James is survived by his son, Michael, his wife, Deborah Lin, and their 8-month-old daughter, Liliana.