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. Robert MenendezRobert MenendezSteve Mnuchin, foreclosure king, now runs your US Treasury Senate Dems move to nix Trump's deportation order Senators to Trump: We support additional Iran sanctions 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 McCainTrump names McMaster new national security adviser How does placing sanctions on Russia help America? THE MEMO: Trump's wild first month MORE (R-Ariz.) recalled meeting the actor.