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 (Bob) MenendezDems block Cruz's Nord Stream 2 sanctions bill Overnight Defense & National Security — Differences remain between NATO, Russia Senate Democrats unveil bill sanctioning Russia over Ukraine 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 McCainRedistricting reform key to achieving the bipartisanship Americans claim to want Kelly takes under-the-radar approach in Arizona Senate race Voting rights, Trump's Big Lie, and Republicans' problem with minorities MORE (R-Ariz.) recalled meeting the actor.