James Gandolfini’s 13-Year-Old Son Reportedly Witnessed Him Having Heart Attack
NBC News reports that James Gandolfini, who passed away on Wednesday, was found after collapsing in a hotel bathroom in Rome by his own young son, Michael.
The hotel manager said the 13-year-old discovered his 51-year-old dad and then called for help. When the ambulance arrived, Gandolfini was still alive. Hotel workers tried to resuscitate him, but he was gone by the time he arrived at the hospital.
The Associated Press reports that while the autopsy is not complete, it is widely suspected that Gandolfini died after suffering cardiac arrest. The head of the hospital's ER told CNN that it was "probably a natural cause of death, myocardial infarction," otherwise known as a heart attack.
Sources told TMZ that Gandolfini was on a "guys' trip" with Michael, who had just graduated from 8th grade. USA Today reports that his second wife, their baby daughter, and other family members were also on the trip. Gandolfini’s first wife, and mom to Michael, has flown to Italy to be with her son.
The Sopranos actor was in Italy to appear at Sicily's Taormina Film Festival as a guest of honor this Saturday. Instead, festival organizers say they will organize a tribute "to celebrate his great achievement and talent."
The film festival director, who says he spoke to Gandolfini hours before his death, says that the actor was excited “to reconnect with his Italian roots." His assistant shared that the family "had a marvelous day together."
It must have been particularly hard for Michael to have that experience, and our heart goes out to the Gandolfini family during this very difficult time.