'Clerks' actress Lisa Spoonauer dead at 44



Lisa Spoonauer, the actress who played Caitlin Bree in the cult-classic film “Clerks,” died on Saturday at the age of 44.

Her family announced her passing in an obituary posted on the website of a New Jersey Funeral Home. They did not specify her cause of death.

Director Kevin Smith shared the news on Instagram late Tuesday. He recalled discovering Spoonauer in 1992 when he went to watch an acting class at the Brookdale Community College in search of the right actress to play Caitlin Bree.

“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 in his Instagram post.

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 May 23, 2017 at 2:32pm PDT

He wrote he was “captivated” by Spoonauer and approached her after the class in the parking lot to offer her a role in his film. Several days later, after reviewing the script, she accepted.

“A complete stranger at first, Lisa quickly became one of the most important people I’d ever meet when she joined Brian [Cohalloran], [Jeff Anderson], Marilyn [Ghigliotti], [Jay Mewes], [ Scott Mosier], [David Klein] and me as one of the chief architects of my first film.”

Spoonauer played the girlfriend of Cohalloran’s character, Dante Hicks.

Smith lauded her acting chops in his post. The New Jersey native’s only major film role was in “Clerks.”

“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,” Smith wrote. “Thank you for dreaming my dream with me. You changed my life, Lisa.”

Cohalloran wrote on Instagram that he was “truly gutted” by the news of her passing.

“She will live on in my heart and in the hearts of millions,” the actor added. “Always in my heart. Rest in Peace Lisa.”
 



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'Clerks' actress Lisa Spoonauer dead at 44

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