James Gandolfini's Teenage Son Called for Help for His Dad

The world was shocked over the death of actor James Gandolfini, who passed away last night after an apparent heart attack. Horribly, it appears that it was Gandolfini's 13-year-old son Michael who was with him when the actor fell ill, and who called for help. I can't imagine the terror this poor child went through.

Gandolfini, who became famous playing Mob boss Tony Soprano, had been in Italy to attend a film festival and to "reconnect" with his Italian roots (his family reportedly owns land in Milan) when tragedy struck. Reportedly, Gandolfini had been out during the day with son Michael as well as other family members, including his sister, his wife Deborah, and 1-year-old daughter Liliana.

Gandolfini reportedly went into distress while in the bathroom of his hotel room and it was son Michael who heard Gandolfini in distress and alerted hotel staff. The actor was said to be alive but in cardiac arrest as hotel employees rushed to give him CPR. Said Gandolfini's assistant, Tom Richardson:

We all had a marvelous day together, and when he returned to the hotel Jimmy [Gandolfini] went to the bathroom and that is where something happened. His sister said he was still alive when the ambulance took him away.

However, at the hospital, doctors were unable to resuscitate him.

It's always a tragedy to lose a parent when you're young -- but to be witness to your parent's demise, to try to help, to be ultimately unable to help, there is no doubt this is going to affect Michael for the rest of his life. He may even be haunted by the idea that there was something more he could have done. But he was a young hero by getting help there quickly.

A friend of the actor's had posted on Facebook about how excited Gandolfini was to have a "boy trip" with his son to Italy. He also mentioned what a "great dad" he was -- and how Michael loved to played soccer. Pictures of Gandolfini with his son over the years show an amazingly involved father, whether he was chatting with Michael on set, playing with him in a park, or walking down the street with him.

Sadly, Gandolfini's infant daughter will never know her father -- though certainly both children will be able to see him in his iconic roles, which will live on forever. That is, unfortunately, a pale substitute. Thoughts are with James Gandolfini's family.

Have you lost a parent?


Image via Splash News

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LostS... LostSoul88

I lost a parent but not to death but to alcoholism. 

That poor child, I hpe they give him the help he needs. 

nonmember avatar Newmommy3/2013

my grandmother was kidnapped, raped and murdered in Los Angeles county when my mother was 17. Her body was found 3 days before Christmas of 1980. The crime is still unsolved and due to the large amount of murders and police mishandling of evidence in the 80's unfortunately we will never know (DNA deteriorated; wasn't stored correctly). It amazes me every single day how strong my mom is/was. Her mother wasn't there for her marriage, her children's birth; to see her grow up at all. We've never heard or felt the pain she goes through every single Christmas, in a way even when we had nothing she always made sure me and my brother had special Christmases. Your set on the road to life it only matters what path you choose to take when the road meets an intersection. He will persevere. My thoughts are with the family

Kacie Moore Schleis

I'm so sad. I had a secret crush on that man... his poor children. :( Life as we know it, is over. 

nonmember avatar Jennifer

My heart breaks for his family, especially his son. I too lost my Dad at 11 to a heart attack and was the one to call 911. Before the paramedics could get there, I was holding his hand and felt him squeeze it and take his last breath. Something no child should ever experience. Then at 32, while 8 months pregnant with our second daughter, my Husband passed. Again I was the one who found him and called 911. I now am raising our two daughters alone.

Debra Hunt Prater

RIP & God bless his children & family! At least they were together instead of him being alone.

hello... hellokd87

I feel for his family. When my family in law passed away a couple of months ago, it happened to quickly & terribly we're still grieving harder than we could have ever imagined. We knew he would pass away as everyone's time comes but we didn't expect it that quickly. My thoughts & prayers are with the Gandolfini family.

Truel... Truelove77

I have not lost a parent a baby niece yes death is tragic :( He is gone never forgotten.

nonmember avatar Melissa

I was in the 8th grade when my mom passed away. My sis and a female police offcr told me. Iw as 14 yrs . Its scary cuz i always needed my mother and i still do.

Lilixo Lilixo

I LOVED this man & what he was about. His beautiful smile was my fave. Hes flying with the angels now... & His son has to know that his daddy is looking down on him. As well as his infant daughter. God, its so tragic. May God rest his soul

Irish... Irishtwinswin

I feel for the boy immensely. I can't imagine what he'll have to go through with all of that. As for the girl, I know with the support of family she will be okay in time. I lost my father when I was freshly 4 years old and I battled with it, but to know that your father loved you and didn't leave you by choice, it's easier to deal with. It's the thought of not knowing him that hurts. I feel for all of them.

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