Shonka Dukureh’s cause of death has been disclosed by authorities, according to US media reports.
Dukureh, who is survived by her two young children, died from heart-related conditions or “hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease”, it has now emerged.
According to documents obtained by Us Weekly, the coroner on Monday (29 August) ruled that the late actor’s death was due to natural causes.
Hypertensive heart disease refers to a group of medical problems, including heart failure, that are caused by chronic high blood pressure.
Meanwhile, atherosclerosis is the build-up of cholestrol plaque in the walls of the arteries, causing obstruction of blood flow. It can cause heart attacks or strokes over time, as the blockage intensifies.
Dukureh was found dead in the bedroom of her Kothe Way apartment on 21 July.
At the time, it was reported that her son discovered Dukureh unresponsive, before alerting one of their neighbours. The neighbour then called emergency services.
BREAKING: No foul play is evident in today's death of actress Shonka Dukureh, 44, who portrayed Big Mama Thornton in this year's Elvis movie. Dukureh, a Fisk Univ graduate, was found dead in the bedroom of her Kothe Way apt that she shared with her 2 young children.
— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) July 21, 2022
Dukureh was best known to play the role of Big Mama Thornton alongside Austin Butler in the Elvis biopic.
She also appeared onstage with Doja Cat at Coachella this year to collaborate on the song “Vegas” for the Elvis soundtrack.
In April, Dukureh told Shadow and Act about her experience working on the Elvis biopic.
“It’s been amazing and I’m looking forward to doing it all over again,” she had said. “It’s just been a dream. I didn’t even know it was a dream [of mine] until I really got there and experienced everything, but it has really been a chance of a lifetime, this life-altering experience.”