Gandolfini died of cardiac arrest, hospital says

ROME - Hospital officials in Rome say U.S. actor James Gandolfini died after suffering cardiac arrest.

Dr. Claudio Modini, head of the emergency room at the Policlinic Umberto I hospital, said Gandolfini arrived at the hospital at 10:20 p.m. Wednesday and was pronounced dead at 11 p.m. after reanimation efforts in the ambulance and hospital failed.

He told The Associated Press on Thursday that an autopsy would be performed starting 24 hours after the death, as required by law.

According to media reports, Gandolfini's 13-year-old son was the first to notify hotel staff that his father was not feeling well. TMZ reports that the actor's first wife rushed to Italy to be with their son.

Gandolfini is best known for his role as Tony Soprano in the hit HBO show.

Italy film fest dedicates homage to Gandolfini

Organizers of the Taormina, Sicily, Film Festival are scrambling to put together a tribute to Gandolfini, who had been expected to attend the festival's closing ceremony this weekend.

Organizers Mario Sesti and Tiziana Rocca said that instead of receiving an award from the resort city of Taormina on Saturday, Gandolfini will instead be honored with a tribute "remembering his career and talent."

He was to have taught a master class Saturday morning and receive the "Taormina City Prize" before attending the festival's closing ceremony along with actress Marisa Tomei.

Sesti and Rocca said they had spoken to Gandolfini hours before his death "and he was very happy to receive this prize and be able to travel to Italy."

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