Pictures of the Rome hotel room in which James Gandolfini spent his final moments have emerged.
In room 449 of the art deco Boscolo Exedra Roma hotel, a $671 per night suite overlooking the Piazza della Repubblica, James Gandolfini died June 19 of a massive heart attack at the age of 51.
Photos show the ornate marble bathroom in which the actor was found by his 13-year-old son Michael and where paramedics worked to save James Gandolfini before rushing him to Policlinico Umberto I hospital.
Celebrity chef Sandra Lee would later stay in the finely appointed room on Friday, until learning it was the very same in which James Gandolfini took ill.
When media learned that Sandra Lee had been so quickly placed in the suite, they pounced. Sources told the New York Post that Sandra Lee was “saddened” when she learned of the fourth floor room’s recent history.
Sandra Lee was in town with her sister and nieces. Room 449 was one of several she’d rented for their trip.
As Italian media began to swarm, Sandra Lee and company left after only one night.
James Gandolfini, who found fame playing a mafia boss was vacationing in Rome prior to the Taormina Film Festival, which he was slated to attend in Sicily over the weekend.
The actor was set to receive an award at the festival. He instead received a tribute on Saturday.
James Gandolfini and his son toured the Vatican prior to his death as they awaited the arrival of his sister.
Leta Gandolfini, one of the actor’s two older sisters who both live in New Jersey, appeared grief-last stricken last week as she arrived at the morgue flanked by security guards.
An autopsy on Friday confirmed James Gandolfini died of a heart attack and that there were no suspicious factors, such as alcohol, on his medical report.
He was taken by ambulance to the hospital around 10:40pm Wednesday night.
He was reportedly alive as six men removed him from the Hotel Exedra, but had entered cardiac arrest by the time he reached the hospital.
Doctors worked for over half an hour, trying to bring James Gandolfini back, but it was to no avail.
The alarm was first raised when the actor’s son Michael called the hotel’s front desk after finding his father in the bathroom.
The night before his death, James Gandolfini dined with Michael in Rome’s Trastevere neighborhood.
His waiter Andrei Burca told the New York Post: “He had a big smile, a big laugh, and looked happy.”
But just 24 hours later, Michael Gandolfini found his father suffering from a heart attack in the bathroom of their hotel room. Doctors battled for 40 minutes to save him but he was later pronounced dead.
James Gandolfini’s body was initially slated to be flown to the U.S.by Wednesday or Thursday, and his funeral held in New York.
“In Italy, it can take up to 10 days to get all the necessary documents and paperwork to repatriate the body. We are looking forward to working with the Italian government and officials to shorten that process,” family friend and spokesman Michael Kobold originally said.
But, on Sunday, those plans appeared to accelerate.
That’s when Michael Kobold told reporters that the “provisional plan” is to depart Rome on Monday afternoon for the United States, several days earlier than anticipated. He did not specify which U.S. airport.
The Italian news agency ANSA later released photos of James Gandolfini’s body departing Rome.
The agency says the private plane took off at 6 p.m. Sunday. Its exact U.S. destination was unclear.
Family spokesman Michael Kobold had told reporters the “provisional plan” was to repatriate Gandolfini’s body Monday.
Michael Kobold thanked Italian and U.S. authorities, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, his predecessor Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton for helping with arrangements.
Deborah Lin, who had been married to James Gandolfini for five years, was spotted at a Los Angeles shopping mall buying clothes for their baby daughter before the funeral.
In his home state of New Jersey, flags will be flown at half-mast on state buildings on Monday, New Jersey governor Chris Christie said.
James Gandolfini rose to fame playing a hitman in the 1993 film True Romance, and roles in films such as Terminal Velocity and Get Shorty followed.
However, it was not until his breakout role in 1999 in the hit television show The Sopranos that he became a household name.
Since The Sopranos ended its six-season run in June 2007, James Gandolfini had 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.
James Gandolfini had been working on an upcoming HBO series, Criminal Justice, and had two films due out next year.