As Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher was idolized by young girls for her on-screen strength and leadership, while young boys worshiped the feisty actress. As news of her death spread Tuesday, celebrities from New Jersey took to social media to pay tribute to the late "Star Wars" royalty.

Among them, actor/writer/director Kevin Smith eulogized Fisher in an Instagram post, saying the "princess stole" his heart at age 7 and was his "first love."

"In childhood, I committed myself to Carrie Fisher without ever meeting her the way novice nuns commit themselves to Christ without meeting Him," Smith said on Instagram.

He later had the opportunity to meet and work with his childhood crush when they filmed "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back."

The Princess stole my heart at age 7. Anybody who knows me knows #CarrieFisher was my first love. I thrilled to the adventures of #princessleia in the @starwars movies, but from '77 to '84, I was in love with Carrie Fisher herself. My bedroom was filled with Carrie Fisher pictures from any movie she was ever in (including Polaroids I took off the TV when #thebluesbrothers hit cable). I was jealous of Paul Simon when he was dating Carrie Fisher and wouldn't listen to his music until they split up. I paid to see Carrie Fisher and #chevychase in Under the Rainbow nine times when it was in theaters (mostly because Carrie Fisher was in underwear in one scene). In childhood, I committed myself to Carrie Fisher without ever meeting her the way novice Nuns commit themselves to Christ without meeting Him. Decades later, I got to tell her this when Carrie Fisher and @jaymewes were in a station wagon on the set of #jayandsilentbobstrikeback. She was gracious about hearing it for the zillionth time from the zillionth man or woman who grew up idolizing her, but wickedly added "I'm glad to know I helped you find your light saber." And with that, she stopped being Carrie Fisher to me and just became Carrie. That's the Carrie I'll always remember: the dutiful standard-bearer of childhood dreams with a the wicked sense of humor and a way with words. She didn't want to get paid for her role in @jayandsilentbob Strike Back; instead, she asked that we buy her these antique beaver chairs. Her reason: "Beaver seems an appropriate currency for this movie." When she was a guest on Season 1 of our @hulu show #Spoilers, Carrie curled up in the throne like she belonged there. And she did: after all, she was royalty. As a boy, I dreamed of marrying Carrie Fisher. As a young filmmaker, I dreamed of casting Carrie Fisher. As an adult, I dreamed of being as sharp-witted and prepossessed as Carrie Fisher. And now that Carrie Fisher is gone, I'll dream of my friend Carrie - whose entire magnificent career I was lucky enough to witness, whose honesty made me a better person, and whose spirit - like The Force - will be with us always. Goodnight, Sweet Princess...

A photo posted by Kevin Smith (@thatkevinsmith) on

Smith wasn't the only Garden State celebrity to express grief over 60-year-old Fisher's death, which was the result of a medical emergency she suffered during an airplane flight on Friday. Everyone from reality stars and actors to New Jersey astronaut Scott Kelly paid tribute to the late actress.

Toniann Antonelli is Digital managing Editor-Programming for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at toniann.antonelli@townsquaremedia.com, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.

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