Autopsy Confirms James Gandolfini Died Of A Heart Attack [VIDEO]
An autosy confirms that James Gandolfini was killed by a heart attack in Rome on Wednesday.
Friend Michael Kobold said Friday that there was no evidence of foul play or substance abuse. He said Gandolfini’s body has been released to a funeral director and that the family is working to get through the red tape to get the body back to the United States.
Kobald told Fox News that the family is working with Italian officials to get Gandolfini’s body back to the US as quickly as possible. “In Italy it can take up to 10 days to get all the necessary documents and paperwork to repatriate the body. We are looking forward to working with the Italian government, the officials, to shorten that process,” he said. “We expect that to be Wednesday, maybe Thursday.”
He also denied a New York Post report that Gandolfini has 8 alcoholic beverages during his final dinner. “Except for the foie gras, looking at what was listed, all of that stuff is something I had with the family yesterday and the pina coladas were virgin pina coladas, they were drunk by his son,” Kobold said. “So you guys know Jim, it’s not his drink of choice. He doesn’t drink pina coladas in 40 degree [Celsius]heat.”
Dr. Claudio Modinito, head of the emergency department at Policlinic Umberto I hospital said it was likely a heart attack killed the 51-year-old. Under Italian law an autopsy must be completed within 24 hours of a body’s arrival at the morgue.
“During the autopsy, it appeared clear the presence of an important miocardio arrest,” he said. It’s not known if Gandolfini’s family will make the full autopsy report public.
The U.S. Embassy in Rome must issue a gift certificate before his remains can be taken to the United States. The Embassy says they are ready to assist the family and are “deeply upset” by Gandolfini’s death according to CNN.
TMZ reports that Gandolfini, who has had problems with cocaine and alcohol in the past, was in “near perfect” health.
Gandolfini was in Italy to attend the Taormina Film Festival which will now present a tribute to him.
Bruce Springsteen paid tribute to his fellow New Jerseyan by playing the entire Born To Run album during a concert in Coventry, England according to the British website Metro. Steven Van Zandt of the E Street Band played Silvo with Gandolfini in The Sopranos.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.