Gandolfini died of heart attack - autopsy

The Sopranos star died in a Rome hotel on Wednesday at the age of 51.

The late James Gandolfini at HBO Theater on 10 April 2013 in New York City. Picture: AFP

ROME - An autopsy on the body of Sopranos star James Gandolfini, confirmed on Friday he died of a heart attack, a hospital source said.

The source, who asked not to be identified, said Gandolfini's death late on Wednesday in a Rome hotel was the result of "natural causes, a heart attack".

Doctors battled for 40 minutes to save his life before pronouncing him dead on Wednesday at the age of 51.

Gandolfini, whose performance as Tony Soprano made him a household name and ushered in a new era of American television drama, was holidaying in Rome and had been scheduled to attend the closing of the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily on Saturday.

At the time of his death, he had been working on an upcoming HBO series, Criminal Justice, and had two motion pictures due out in 2014.