Purple Diary

[June 20 2013]

Rest in Peace James Gandolfini (1961-2013)

Photo Tamara Weber


Gandolfini died suddenly on June 19, 2013 in RomeItaly, during a brief vacation, as he was expected to travel to Sicily on June 22 where he was scheduled to receive an award at the Taormina Film Fest. Following a day of sightseeing in Rome in sweltering heat, Gandolfini was discovered around 10 pm local time on the bathroom floor at the Boscolo Exedra Hotel in Rome’s Piazza della Repubblica by his 13-year-old son Michael. Michael quickly called hotel reception, who in turn called emergency paramedics.

Ambulance staff arrived around 10:40 pm and made efforts to resuscitate Gandolfini, who was still alive, at the hotel. Further efforts were made when he reached the emergency room; according to doctors, however, there was nothing they could do and he was already dead upon arrival. The time of death was 11:00 p.m., according to Dr. Claudio Modini, the head of the hospital’s emergency room. Gandolfini’s wife, Deborah Lin, was not with her husband during his trip but was expected to travel to Rome to bring the body home with her.

An autopsy will be performed to determine the official cause of death, which doctors believe was likely a heart attack. The U.S. Embassy in Rome is required to issue a death certificate before the remains can be transported back to the United States. According to Mario Sesti, the artistic director of the Taormina Film Fest, Gandolfini was “so happy to be in Italy, to reconnect with his Italian roots, and he was very excited to come here and receive this award.” Sesti said that the ceremony will now become a tribute to Gandolfini’s life and body of work.

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