Lisa Spoonauer, who played Caitlin Bree in the 1994 film “Clerks,” has died, the film’s director Kevin Smith said Tuesday. She was 44.
“Devastated to report that #LisaSpoonauer, who played Caitlin in #clerks, has passed away,” Smith 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 went on to recall how, after a night of open auditions, he failed to find the “perfect Caitlin Bree,” so he dropped in at an acting class at Brookdale Community College to scout for talent.
“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,” Smith recalled. “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.’”
Smith went on to say that Spooauer “quickly became one of the mot important people I’d ever meet.”
Spoonauer later married her “Clerks” co-star Jeff Anderson. They were married for a year, from 1998 to 1999.
In addition to her role in “Clerks,” Spoonauer appeared in the Gabe Torres film “Bartender,” and reprised her Caitlin character for a voice role in an episode of the animated TV series “Clerks.”
Smith concluded his tribute, “Thank you for dreaming my dream with me. You changed my life, Lisa.”