The Associated Press
"Sopranos" star James Gandolfini suffered a cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at 11 p.m. Wednesday after resuscitation efforts in the ambulance and hospital failed, according to Dr. Claudio Modini, head of the emergency room at the Policlinico Umberto I hospital in Rome. Modini told The Associated Press that an autopsy would be performed starting 24 hours after the death, as required by law.
Michael Kobold, a family friend, told reporters in Rome that a family member discovered Gandolfini in his hotel room, but he declined to say who. NBC quoted the manager of Rome's Boscolo Exedra Hotel as saying it was Gandolfini's 13-year-old son, Michael.
Gandolfini had been expected to receive an award at the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily this weekend, and organizers said they were scrambling to instead put together a tribute "remembering his career and talent."
At Satin Dolls, the real-life strip club in Lodi, N.J., that served as the fictional Bada Bing club in "The Sopranos," employees put a framed photo of Gandolfini where he frequently sat, calling it "the boss' seat."
"It's like we lost a member of the family," spokesman Bill Pepe said. "Everybody is shocked." Thursday afternoon, a workman outside the club climbed a ladder and changed the club's marquee from "Bartenders Wanted" to "Thank You, Jimmy; Farewell Boss."
At Green Hill, the West Orange nursing home where scenes involving Tony's ailing mother were shot, executive director Toni Lynn Davis said the residents loved the show. Several were even hired as extras, and the show's payments helped buy a giant flat-screen TV they used to watch the show each week.
"They said it was their weekly vocabulary lesson," Davis said. "They learned all those new swear words."
The house where Tony Soprano lived is in North Caldwell, and fans stopped by to show their respects to Gandolfini. Michael Primamore, who lives nearby and whose family runs an auto repair business, left a bag of dried ziti next to the candles that sprouted in the driveway.