Sopranos star James Gandolfini is Dead at 51 reportedly from a massive heart attack while traveling in Italy. He was a New Jersey-bred actor who delighted audiences as mob boss Tony Soprano and won 3 Emmy Awards.
According to TMZ, James Gandolfini was in Italy to attend the 59th Taormina Film Festival in Sicily, and was scheduled to participate in a festival event this weekend with Italian director Gabriele Muccino.
James Gandolfini spent part of his early career supporting himself as a bartender and nightclub manager befoe making it big. He got his first break in 1992 when he landed a role in a Broadway version of “A Streetcar Named Desire” that starred Alec Baldwin and Jessica Lange. Smaller parts in major films followed, including one in which Gandolfini played a submarine crew member in “Crimson Tide” in 1995 and a gangland bodyguard in “Get Shorty” the same year.
James Gandolfini was married to former model Deborah Lin, who gave birth to their daughter Liliana Ruth Gandolfini on October 10, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The couple married in Hawaii in 2008. Gandolfini also has a son, Michael, with his ex-wife, Marcy Wudarski, from whom he was divorced in December 2002.
What is a Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction)?
A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, occurs when one or more regions of the heart muscle experience a severe or prolonged lack of oxygen caused by blocked blood flow to the heart muscle.
The blockage is often a result of atherosclerosis – a buildup of plaque composed of fat deposits, cholesterol, and other substances. Plaque ruptures and eventually a blood clot forms. The actual cause of a heart attack is a blood clot that forms within the plaque-obstructed area.
If the blood and oxygen supply is cut off severely or for a long period of time, muscle cells of the heart suffer damage and die. The result is dysfunction of the muscle of the heart in the area affected by the lack of oxygen.
Heart Attack Statistics
Every year, about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack. About 600,000 people die from heart disease in the United States each year, that’s 1 out of every 4 deaths. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.
Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, costs the United States $312.6 billion each year. This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity. These conditions also are leading causes of disability, preventing Americans from working and enjoying family activities.