The Sopranos creator DAVID CHASE was awarded the inaugural Governor's Award For Film-Making by Acting New Jersey Governor RICHARD J CODEY on Friday (09DEC05).

Chase was honoured with a lavish 150-guest reception ceremony at the governor's Drumthwacket mansion which focused on his loyalty to the state where he grew up.

Codey said, "David's creative writing and rich character illustration have produced a show unlike anything else on television. It is an honour to present this award to a New Jersey native who never forgot his roots."

Accepting the award Chase, who has won numerous accolades for his portrayal of Mafia boss Tony Soprano, said, "It's a huge thrill. I've grown up in this place, read history books - books on New Jersey, the Jersey Devil, all that colonial history. To be part of that continuum is really thrilling."