Christie: Gandolfini was a New Jersey treasure

James Gandolfini, 51, died while on holiday in Rome, HBO confirmed.

June 20, 2013 6:28:36 AM PDT
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says the death of "The Sopranos" star James Gandolfini has come as an awful shock to him.

He says Gandolfini was "a fine actor, a Rutgers alum and a true Jersey guy."

Gandolfini grew up in Park Ridge, the son of a building maintenance chief at a Catholic school and a high school lunch lady. He won Emmy Awards for his portrayal of mob boss Tony Soprano on the HBO series, which was filmed in Jersey.

Christie says he's a huge fan of Gandolfini and his Soprano character. He calls Gandolfini and the other "Sopranos" actors New Jersey treasures. He said Wednesday his prayers are with Gandolfini's wife and children.