As the world continues to mourn the loss of [article id="1709340"]"Sopranos" star James Gandolfini,[/article] new details of his death have begun to emerge.
According to ABC News, Gandolfini, 51, was at the Hotel Exedra in Rome, when he became ill around 10 p.m. local time on Wednesday (June 19). His son, Michael, 13, called the hotel's reception desk for help, and when members of the staff arrived in Gandolfini's room, they discovered him in cardiac arrest and immediately called for an ambulance. Paramedics took the actor to Policlinico Umberto I hospital in central Rome, where doctors attempted to revive him for nearly 40 minutes before pronouncing him dead.
Gandolfini's body has since been transferred from the hospital to the Rome city morgue, where an autopsy will take place Friday, at least 24 hours after death occurred, as required by Italian law. After the autopsy, ABC News reports that the U.S. Embassy will work with the morgue to bring Gandolfini's body back to the U.S.
The actor was expected to attend the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily this weekend, and receive the "Taormina City Prize." Organizers are now planning a tribute to Gandolfini during the Festival.
RIP James Gandolfini, one of the nicest guys I've ever met— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) June 20, 2013
As news of his death began to spread Wednesday, Gandolfini's friends and fellow actors — including Steve Carell, Ewan McGregor, Russell Crowe and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie — took to Twitter to [article id="1709344"]express their sadness.[/article] His "Sopranos" co-stars Steven Van Zandt and Lorraine Bracco released statements remembering the actor's kindness and talent, calling him "a brother and a best friend," and "a giant."
And in a separate statement, "Sopranos" creator David Chase called Gandolfini a reluctant "genius."
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"He is one of the greatest actors of this or any time ... I remember telling him many times, 'You don't get it. You're like Mozart.' There would be silence at the other end of the phone," Chase's statement read, in part. "He wasn't east sometimes. But he was my partner, he was my brother in ways I can't explan and never will be able to explain."
Gandolfini's popularity extended far and wide, as evidenced by the respects paid by everyone from Senator John McCain, who called him "one of the nicest guys I've ever met," to Justin Timberlake, who tweeted "This James Gandolfini passing is so sad. My heart goes out to his family in this time," adding the hashtag #takentoosoon.
Really though... This James Gandolfini passing is so sad. My heart goes out to his family in this time. RIP #takentoosoon— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) June 20, 2013
Gandolfini is survived by his wife, Deborah Lin, his daughter Liliana, 8 months old, and his son, Michael, from a previous marriage.