Fans are mourning the loss of director Jonathan Demme. The native New Yorker has died at the age of 73, after battling both cancer and heart disease. Demme won an Academy Award for the iconic thriller Silence of the Lambs. As I scanned through his impressive legacy of films and music documentaries and videos, I noticed a good deal of New Jersey connections. Here are the strongest NJ ties in remembering Demme:

1. Jonathan Demme directed Philadelphia and asked Bruce Springsteen to write a song for the powerful drama. He then directed the video for "Streets of Philadelphia," for which the famously NJ rocker won an Oscar.

That was just one of a few videos collaborations for Springsteen and Demme. Others include E Street Band performances on "Murder Incorporated" and "If I Should Fall Behind."

2. Jonathan Demme co-directed a video for the 80's protest song/album, Sun City. Artists United Against Apartheid was led by Steven Van Zandt, and eventually included his E Street cohorts Clarence Clemons and Bruce Springsteen. Little Steven was among the first stars to memorialize Demme on Twitter, calling him a great filmmaker and a beautiful soul.

3. Jonathan Demme helped capture a landmark beach concert in Wildwood with country star Kenny Chesney.  With a live crowd of at least 20,000, the 2012 concert special was billed as American Express Unstaged: Kenny Chesney Live Concert.

4. Jonathan Demme worked with Millburn native Anne Hathaway in the family drama Rachel Getting Married.

5. Jonathan Demme's last feature was directing Somerset County native Meryl Streep in Ricki and the Flash.

Proud Jersey Girl Erin Vogt’s first reporting gig involved her Fisher Price tape recorder. As a wife and momma of two kiddies, she firmly believes that life’s too short to drink bad coffee.  A fan of the beach, Dave Grohl and karma, in no particular order.

Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook as ProudJersey.

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