Doctors spent 40 minutes trying to revive 'Sopranos' star Gandolfini

Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:51pm EDT
 
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By Alex Dobuzinskis and Antonio Denti

LOS ANGELES/ROME (Reuters) - Doctors at a Rome hospital battled for 40 minutes to try to save the life of James Gandolfini, best known for his Emmy-winning role as a mob boss in the TV series "The Sopranos," before pronouncing him dead, the emergency room chief said on Thursday.

Gandolfini, 51, whose performance as Tony Soprano made him a household name and help usher in a new era of American television drama, was vacationing in Rome and had been scheduled to attend the closing of the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily on Saturday.

He was taken from his Rome hotel to the city's Umberto I hospital late on Wednesday, according to a hospital spokesperson.

The actor's 13-year-old son, Michael, had found him collapsed in the bathroom of his Rome hotel room, Gandolfini's manager, Mark Armstrong, said in an email.

"The resuscitation maneuvers, including heart massage, etc., continued for 40 minutes and then, seeing no electric activity from the heart, this was interrupted and we declared James dead," Claudio Modini, the emergency room chief, told Reuters.

"The patient was considered dead on arrival, and for that reason an autopsy has been requested to be carried out by a pathologist, as is normal procedure in our country."

The autopsy has been scheduled for Friday morning.

Since "The Sopranos" ended its six-season run in June 2007, Gandolfini appeared in a number of big-screen roles, including the crime drama "Killing Them Softly" and "Zero Dark Thirty," a film about the hunt for Osama bin Laden.   Continued...

 
Employees and customers congregate at the bar of Satin Dolls, which stood in as the Bada Bing Club filmed in the TV show "The Sopranos", in Lodi, New Jersey, June 20, 2013. Doctors at a Rome hospital battled for 40 minutes to try to save the life of James Gandolfini, best known for his Emmy-winning role as a mob boss in the TV series "The Sopranos," before pronouncing him dead, the emergency room chief said on Thursday. Gandolfini, 51, whose performance as Tony Soprano made him a household name and help usher in a new era of American television drama, was vacationing in Rome and had been scheduled to attend the closing of the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily on Saturday. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri