Officials: Autopsy reveals actress from 'Elvis' film died of natural causes

Tom Hanks
Posted at 5:21 PM, Aug 31, 2022

Officials in Tennessee say actress Shonka Dukureh, who starred as Big Mama in this year's film "Elvis," died of natural causes.

The Davidson County Medical Examiner’s office said her official cause of death was “hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease," NBC News and the Los Angeles Times reported.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, happens when the force of blood against the artery walls is too high. Atherosclerosis is when arteries thicken or harden due to the buildup of plaque in the inner lining of an artery.

Dukureh was found dead inside the bedroom of her Kothe Way apartment that she shared with her two children, Nashville police said on July 21.

The Associated Press reported that Dukureh was found unresponsive by one of her young children, who went to a neighbor's apartment for help.

In a statement, police said there were no signs of foul play at the time.

She was 44.