The family of James Gandolfini has confirmed that the TV star died of a heart attack while in Italy. A spokesperson for his family said, "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."
Gandolfini died in Rome, after going into cardiac arrest at the Hotel Exeda. The statement added, "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... 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."
However, the Post reports that hours before his death, "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 in Rome said." The Post added:
The Emmy Award winner had attended several Alcoholics Anonymous meetings on Perry Street in the West Village, but people who saw him there “didn’t think that he was serious about getting sober,” said a source familiar with the matter.
“I can confirm he has been known to blow lines and drink like an Irish sailor on weekend leave,” said another source.
Gandolfini's ex-wife claimed that he did cocaine with castmates of The Sopranos; Gandolfini, in turn, said his ex was unstable.
Gandolfini's body will be returned to the United States next week and the funeral will be held in New York City.