New details have been released regarding the death of actor James Gandolfini.
After rumors that the Sopranos star suffered health complications before his death in Italy Wednesday (June 19), Taormina Festival's artistic director Mario Sesti confirmed that the 51-year-old actor was in the country receive a special prize and participate in a panel on Italian-American views on cinema, THR reports.
"He was so happy to be in Italy, to reconnect with his Italian roots, and he was very excited to come to Taormina and receive this award," said Sesti, who spoke with Gandolfini a few hours before his death.
The late actor's assistant Tom Richardson also revealed that something had gone awry during his trip. "The family had a marvelous day together, and when he returned to the hotel Jimmy [Gandolfini] went to the bathroom and that is when something happened," he said.
According to NBC News, his teenage son Michael reportedly found his father collapsed in the bathroom after he suffered a suspected heart attack. Autopsy results are expected Friday.
Gandolfini's Soprano co-stars have expressed their condolences and appreciation for the show's leading man.
Edie Falco, who played Tony Soprano’s wife Carmela, said, “I am shocked and devastated by Jim’s passing. He was a man of tremendous depth and sensitivity, with a kindness and generosity beyond words. I consider myself very lucky to have spent 10 years as his close colleague. My heart goes out to his family. As those of us in his pretend one hold on to the memories of our intense and beautiful time together. The love between Tony and Carmela was one of the greatest I’ve ever known.”
Sopranos creator David Chase also had this to say about Gandolfini: "Anyone who saw him even in the smallest of his performances knows that [he is a genius]. He is one of the greatest actors of this or any time.”
Reminisce on James' best roles outside of the HBO classic below.
Photo Credit: Getty