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New Jersey flags to be lowered for Gandolfini

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has ordered staff at all official state buildings to lower their flags on Monday (24Jun13) as a mark of respect to actor James Gandolfini, who died in Italy on Wednesday (19Jun13).

Christie released the executive order on Friday (21Jun13), insisting the state should "recognize the achievements and contributions" of The Sopranos star, a New Jersey native.

The order reads: "The flag of the United States of America and the flag of New Jersey shall be flown at half-staff at all State departments, offices, agencies, and instrumentalities during appropriate hours on Monday, June 24, 2013, in recognition and mourning of the passing of James Gandolfini."

A statement from Christie himself reads: "James Gandolfini was an iconic actor and will be remembered for the timeless impact he left upon television and film in the State of New Jersey and across our nation."

The Governor also ordered state officials to lower flags following the deaths of saxophonist Clarence Clemons and Whitney Houston.

Gandolfini suffered a heart attack and died while vacationing with his son in Italy. He will be the subject of a tribute at the Taormina Film Festival this weekend (22-23Jun13). The actor was scheduled to lead an acting master class on Saturday (22Jun13) before accepting the Taormina City Prize alongside actress Marisa Tomei.

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