James Gandolfini's funeral to take place next week, autopsy confirms he died from heart attack

A friend of The Sopranos actor denied Gandolfini had consumed a number of alcoholic drinks prior to his death, as has been reported in the US

Hospital staff have confirmed that The Sopranos star James Gandolfini, who passed away suddenly on Wednesday at the age of 51, died of a heart attack.

A post-mortem has confirmed he died from natural causes with no evidence of substance abuse or foul play.

His friend Michael Kobold confirmed the autopsy results and said the actor's funeral will be held on Thursday, Friday or Saturday next week depending on when his body can be returned to the US.

''There's nothing out of the ordinary. It was a heart attack. It was a natural cause," Mr Kobold told reporters. "There was no foul play, no substance abuse. None of that.

"The autopsy further states that nothing else was found in his system," he said.

"We are all devastated by this loss. James was a devoted husband, loving father of two children and a brother and cousin you can always count on."

Mr Kobold said Gandolfini had had "a wonderful day" visiting the Vatican and having dinner with his son.

He denied a report in the American media that Gandolfini had battled with drugs and alcohol and consumed a number of drinks, including pina coladas, on the day he died.

"It's nonsense," Mr Kobold said, adding that Gandolfini would not choose to drink pina coladas.

The actor was found collapsed in the bathroom of a Rome hotel room, where he was on holiday, before being taken to Policlinico Umberto I hospital.

A hospital spokesperson told Reuters that attempts to resuscitate Gandolfini in the ambulance and then at the clinic failed, and that the actor was considered dead on arrival.

"The resuscitation manoeuvres, including heart massage, continued for 40 minutes and then, seeing no electric activity from the heart, this was interrupted and we declared James dead," Dr Claudio Modini said.

Post-mortems are conducted 24 hours after a body’s arrival in the morgue in accordance with Italian law.

Gandolfini is survived by his wife Deborah Lin, whom he married in 2008, and their baby daughter Liliana, who was born in October.

He also has a teenage son, Michael, from his first marriage to Marcy Wudarksi.

The actor had been due to make a return to HBO, which made The Sopranos, in a new crime series called Criminal Justice.

The network had ordered seven hour-long episodes of the drama which was to feature Gandolfini as a down on his luck attorney called Jack Stone.

Yesterday Hollywood and TV luminaries took the opportunity to pay tribute to their friend and colleague.

Susan Sarandon, who worked with Gandolfini on Romance & Cigarettes in 2005, called him “one of the sweetest, funniest, most generous actors I’ve ever worked with”.

His God of Carnage co-star Jeff Daniels called him “a great friend” while Steve Carell expressed shock at the “unbelievably sad news” and paid tribute to “a fine man”.

Bette Midler, who co-starred with Gandolfini in the film thought to have paved the way for his turn as Tony Soprano, Get Shorty (1995) also took to Twitter to pay tribute to a “great” actor.

Musician Steven van Zandt, who played Tony Soprano’s right hand man Silvio Dante, wrote that the world has lost one of the greatest actors of all time and that he himself had lost “a brother and a best friend”.

Mia Farrow lamented the “awful news” about such a “great actor”, while Lindsay Lohan, who is currently in rehab, expressed her condolences via “team Lohan” with the words: “James Gandolfini was a dear friend and a great man. My heart goes out to his family. He will be greatly missed.”

Gandolfini’s In The Loop co-star Chris Addison called him “A colossus in all respects. He could do it all but I loved his gift for comedy. RIP General Miller.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump


Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas