Travolta and Gandolfini co-starred in "Get Shorty," "Lonely Hearts," and "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3," but the two New Jersey natives were connected way before they worked together.
"My father sold tires to his father," Travolta said today on Good Morning America while remembering his friend, who passed away yesterday in Rome of a reported heart attack at age 51.
Travolta went on to recall how "Jim," as he fondly referred to Galdolfini, was there for him and his family after his 16-year-old son, Jett, died after suffering a seizure in 2009.
"James went out of his way to come to Florida and he would not leave Florida until I was okay, or he felt that I would be fine," Travolta remembered. "After a week I said, 'Jim you can really, you can, you know, we'll be fine. I've got a lot of support here.'"
The "Grease" star then continued on, talking about his late friend's outstanding character.
"But the idea that in our profession someone would go out of their way and not want to leave you until he felt you were okay, that's the kind of soul that James Gandolfini was," Travolta said.
Gandolfini left behind a wife and two kids, Michael, 13, and Liliana, 8 months, whom Travolta vowed to now look after.
"My goal is to make sure that his family is okay," Travolta said. "His little boy, I watched him grow up, and his brand new little girl. We'll just make sure they're taken care of. That's the whole idea."