06/21/2013 03:57 pm ET Updated Jun 21, 2013

Chris Christie Honors James Gandolfini, Orders New Jersey Flags To Fly At Half Staff

Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) ordered all New Jersey state buildings to fly flags at half-staff on Monday to mark the passing of actor and New Jersey native James Gandolfini, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reported on Friday.

While on vacation with his son in Italy, the 51-year-old star of the HBO series "The Sopranos" died of a massive heart attack, a hospital source told Reuters.

According to the Star-Ledger, Christie said the people of New Jersey "had a connection" to Gandolfini, who was from Westwood.

"All the people in the state really felt a connection to him, not just his character, but to him," Christie said Thursday. "He died much, much too young."

Christie was not the only politician to pay his respects to the late award-winning actor.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) took to Twitter to share his condolences:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) also tweeted his thoughts on Gandolfini:

Upon hearing the news of Gandolfini's passing, Hollywood stars, former colleagues and devoted fans took to various social media outlets to express their grief.



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