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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – An autopsy will be performed on actor James Gandolfini. It’s believed he died of a heart attack.  Italian  law requires the autopsy be done within 24 hours. He arrived at the hospital in Italy Wednesday as a code red.

Emergency workers were trying to revive him as they traveled. Experts at Washington University and Barnes Jewish Hospital say Gandolfini`s death shows just how quickly a potential heart attack can kill.

“When we hear of somebody dying suddenly at age 51, it is a surprise.  It is too  young for heart attacks and if we take any lesson from this is show to prevent this in yourself like staying active, eating right, staying away from cigarettes.” said Dr. Phillip Cuculich – Washington Univ. Cardiologist at Barnes Jewish.

“He had a body fat distribution that increased his risk as well, more carrying more weight in the abdominal area than the hip area.” said Dr. Samuel Klein – Director, Center for Human Nutrition at Wash. University.

Gandolfini leaves behind a wife, a young daughter and a teenage son.