"Today we received the results of the autopsy, which stated he died of a heart attack, of natural causes," Gandolfini family friend Michael Kobold told the press in Rome, Italy, on Friday. "The autopsy further states that nothing else was found in his system."
Kobold added, "Once we have the clearance, we will put him on a flight to America. We expect that to be Wednesday, maybe Thursday, but we will keep you informed."
As for where the funeral will take place, Kobold said it will be in New York.
"We hope that it will be on Thursday, Friday, latest Saturday. [It] is up to the Italian authorities to decide how quickly."
The 51-year-old Sopranos star suffered the heart attack in his room at Hotel Boscolo on Wednesday. The actor's 13-year-old son, Michael, discovered his father in the bathroom and called for help. Gandolfini was subsequently rushed to the Policlinico Umberto I hospital. According to the hospital's ER director, "attempts to rescue failed, and at 23:00 [11 p.m.] the patient died, formally died."
Gandolfini is survived by his wife, Deborah Lin, their 8-month-old daughter, Liliana, and son Michael, from a previous marriage.