Lisa Spoonauer, ‘Clerks’ Actress, Dead At 44

Lisa Spoonauer, the New Jersey?born actress known for her role as Caitlin Bree in ?Clerks,? died Saturday. She was 44. 

A cause of death was not released, but TMZ reports police responded to a 911 call to her house around 11:05 p.m. Saturday night, but she wasn?t breathing when EMTs arrived. 

Kevin Smith, who directed Spoonauer in ?Clerks,? shared the sad news on Instagram Tuesday, with a photo collage and touching caption. 

?Devastated to report that [Lisa Spoonauer], who played Caitlin in [?Clerks?], has passed away,? he wrote. ?In 1992, I went looking for Lisa without knowing either who she was or the integral role she?d play in my life.? 

Smith continued, telling the story of how he discovered Spoonauer in an acting class at Brookdale Community College.

?Lisa was easily the most natural and authentic voice in the room. She didn?t sound like she was acting at all; she delivered scripted dialogue as if she was inventing her conversation in the moment, like people do in real life,? he added. 

You can read his entire tribute below: 

Devastated to report that #LisaSpoonauer, who played Caitlin in #clerks, has passed away. In 1992, I went looking for Lisa without knowing either who she was or the integral role she'd play in my life. I'd held a night of open auditions at the #firstavenueplayhouse (where we found @briancohalloran and @marilynghigliotti) but the perfect Caitlin Bree never walked through the door. So I popped into an acting class at Brookdale Community College and watched the students from the back. Lisa was easily the most natural and authentic voice in the room. She didn't sound like she was acting at all; she delivered scripted dialogue as if she was inventing her conversation in the moment, like people do in real life. Captivated, I approached Lisa cold in the parking lot after the class and said “This is gonna sound creepy but… Do you wanna be in a movie?” Fearlessly, she replied “Not if it's porn.” I told her a bit about Clerks and gave her a copy of the script and my phone number. She called me a few days later and said “Well it's not porn, but everybody talks like it is. It's funny. I'll do it.” A complete stranger at first, Lisa quickly became one of the most important people I'd ever meet when she joined Brian, #JeffAnderson, Marilyn, @jaymewes, @samosier, @davidkleinasc and me as one of the chief architects of my first film. We rehearsed for a month straight in the store after hours, where Lisa perfected Caitlin (and fell in love with Jeff). The first night of the shoot, Lisa had to maneuver her way through a seven minute scene with Brian in the video store, when Caitlin finally shows up in the movie. Lisa and Brian CRUSHED it in one long take that still remains one of my favorite scenes I've ever shot – not because it shows off any directorial flare (it doesn't) but because it exemplified how great the performers were since we never had to cut away from their 2-shot. But as strong an actress as she was, Lisa was an even more excellent Mother to her daughter Mia. Whenever we'd Facebook later in life, she'd gush about her baby girl proudly. My heart goes out to Tom, Mia and Lisa's family. Thank you for dreaming my dream with me. You changed my life, Lisa.

A post shared by Kevin Smith (@thatkevinsmith) on

Spoonauer only appeared in one other film during her acting career: 1997?s ?Bartender.? However, she did reprise the role of Caitlin Bree for an episode of the 2001 animated ?Clerks? series.  

An obituary posted by a New Jersey funeral home describes Spoonauer as ?a devoted mother and loving wife … known for her strength, selflessness and faith.? 

It continues, ?Lisa loved spending time with family and friends, helping anyone she could and laughing as much as she made other people laugh.?

The obituary also notes Spoonauer went on to become a restaurant manager and event planner following her acting career. 

Spoonauer is survived by her husband, daughter, stepson, mother, twin brothers and her grandfather. 

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