Heart attack killed ‘Sopranos’ star James Gandolfini, friend says

Story highlights

An autopsy confirms James Gandolfini died of a heart attack, a family friend says

"There was no foul play," he adds

Gandolfini was taken to a Rome hospital Wednesday from his hotel

The actor had been scheduled to receive an award at an Italian film festival

Rome CNN  — 

An autopsy has determined that actor James Gandolfini’s death Wednesday was the result of natural causes – a heart attack – family friend Michael Kobold told reporters here Friday.

“There was nothing out of the ordinary,” he said. “There was no foul play, there was no substance abuse, none of that.”

The 51-year-old actor arrived in Rome with his son, Michael Gandolfini, a day before he died.

“Jim was happy, he was healthy, he was doing really fine,” Kobold said. “He was on vacation with his son. He has an 8-month-old daughter. Everything was going great. I just spoke to him on Father’s Day.”

Reactions to his death

The same day Gandolfini died, he had visited the Vatican and dined with his son, the family said.

After he returned to his room, his son alerted hotel staff that he was not answering knocks on the bathroom door.

Hotel staff broke down the door to get to him and called an ambulance, said Tiziana Rocca, head of a film festival the actor was planning to attend.

The body has been turned over to a funeral director for embalming, Kobold said.

Relatives were seeking to expedite the paperwork needed to repatriate the body on Wednesday or Thursday to New York, where a funeral was planned for Thursday, Friday or Saturday, Kobold said.

‘Sopranos’ cast mourns Gandolfini

Had he survived

Gandolfini was in Italy to receive an award at the Taormina Film Fest in the Sicilian town of Taormina.

Instead of the award ceremony, the festival paid tribute to Gandolfini’s lifetime achievements.

CNN’s Hada Messia reported from Rome.