Gandolfini, 51, the popular star of HBO's "The Sopranos," died Wednesday. In "The Sopranos" Gandolfini played a crime boss in New Jersey. Gandolfini hailed from New Jersey and attended Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.

"All the people in the state really felt a connection to him, not just his character, but to him," Christie said according to "He died much, much too young. We feel for the Gandolfini family."

Other lawmakers also issued statements in response to Gandolfini's death. Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezSenate ethics panel resumes Menendez probe after judge declares mistrial Judge declares mistrial in Menendez bribery case Menendez jury deadlocked, ordered to keep trying MORE (D-N.J.) called Gandolfini a "television icon."

"James Gandolfini was a distinctive, talented actor whose unforgettable performances made him a television icon," Menendez said according to

Similarly, Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) called Gandolfini a "true" New Jersey native.

On Twitter, Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump's dangerous Guantánamo fixation will fuel fire for terrorists Tech beefs up lobbying amid Russia scrutiny Ad encourages GOP senator to vote 'no' on tax bill MORE (R-Ariz.) recalled meeting the actor.