Son, 13, Found Dying Gandolfini

They were on 'guys' trip' to Italy

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 20, 2013 7:55 AM CDT

(Newser) – James Gandolfini was found, collapsed in the bathroom of his Rome hotel room around 10pm local time last night, by his own young son, NBC News reports. Michael, 13, called for help, the hotel manager says, and Gandolfini was alive when the ambulance arrived. Hotel workers had tried to resuscitate him, but he was dead by the time he arrived at the hospital. He died after suffering cardiac arrest, but the autopsy has not yet been completed, the AP reports. The head of the hospital's ER tells CNN it was "probably a natural cause of death, myocardial infarction," or heart attack.

Gandolfini was on a "guys' trip" with Michael, who had just graduated from 8th grade, sources tell TMZ; USA Today reports, however, that his second wife, baby daughter, and other family members were also on the trip. Michael's mom, Gandolfini's first wife, reportedly flew to Italy after Gandolfini's death. The Sopranos actor was scheduled to appear Saturday at Sicily's Taormina Film Festival as a guest of honor. Instead, festival organizers say they will organize a tribute "to celebrate his great achievement and talent." While in Italy, Gandolfini had been excited "to reconnect with his Italian roots," says the film festival director, who spoke to Gandolfini hours before his death; his assistant says the family "had a marvelous day together." Needless to say, colleagues and other VIPs are heaping praise upon him. Sopranos co-star Lorraine Bracco said in a statement, "We lost a giant today. I am utterly heartbroken."

James Gandolfini accompanies his son Michael to the special screening of the Dreamworks animation movie Shrek the Third in New York, Monday, May, 14, 2007.   (AP Photo/Stuart Ramson)
This Sept. 10, 2000 file photo shows actor James Gandolfini with his award for outstanding lead in a drama series for his work in "The Sopranos" at the 52nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, file)
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