James Gandolfini Autopsy Confirms Cause of Death

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James Gandolfini (WireImage)

As suspected, James Gandolfini died of a heart attack.

Autopsy results released Friday determined that the 51-year-old "Sopranos" star passed away on Wednesday from natural causes after suffering cardiac arrest.

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Hospital officials announced the findings at a press conference, which was also attended by some Gandolfini family members, at Rome’s Boscolo Exedra Hotel. The actor had been staying at that hotel with his 13-year-old son, Michael, when he died.

Emergency room physician Claudio Modini said that doctors had not noted any suspicious factors — including alcohol — on his medical report, according to CNN.

A rep for the actor's family, Michael Kobold, read a statement as well, saying, "James came here on a vacation with his family. ... He had a wonderful day. He visited the Vatican and had dinner at the hotel with his son awaiting the arrival of his sister. Today we received the results of the autopsy,which stated he died of a heart attack, of natural causes. The autopsy further states that nothing else was found in his system.

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"We are all devastated by this loss. James was a devoted husband, a loving father of two children, a brother and cousin you could always count on. We thank you for the privacy you have afforded us during this difficult time."

Additional details have emerged about Gandolfini's final days, who, in addition to enjoying a boys' weekend with his son to celebrate his eighth-grade graduation, was expected to attend the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily this weekend. It was Michael who summoned help when his father did not respond to his knocks on the hotel bathroom door, said Tiziana Rocca, the head of the film festival, who spoke to Gandolfini's son by telephone, according to CNN. Hotel staff then broke down the door.

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Despite the medical report findings that alcohol didn't play a factor in Gandolfini's death, a new report in New York Post claims the famed TV mobster had "at least eight alcoholic drinks" during what was his last meal at the hotel's outdoor restaurant.

"Gandolfini guzzled four shots of rum, two pina coladas, and two beers at dinner with his son — while he chowed down on two orders of fried king prawns and a 'large portion' of foie gras," a hotel source told the paper.

However, his family members weren't aware of any health problems — other than being overweight — that he suffered prior to his death, according to TMZ.

While he had admitted to struggling with cocaine and alcohol in the past, "he was in near-perfect condition," a family insider told the website.

Now that the cause of death has been established, the U.S. Embassy in Rome can issue a death certificate and the "Zero Dark Thirty" star's body can be transported to the United States.


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