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:
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.