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Kevin Smith Fondly Remembers ‘Clerks’ Star Lisa Spoonauer, Who Has Passed Away

By Dustin Rowles | Miscellaneous | May 24, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | Miscellaneous | May 24, 2017 |

Lisa Spoonauer, who played Caitlin Bree in Kevin Smith’s Clerks, has passed away. She was only 44. Her cause of death is unknown.

Spoonauer worked as an actress only briefly — appearing in Clerks and one other film, Bachelor — and was also briefly married to her Clerks co-star, Jeff Anderson. As Caitlin Bree in Clerks, she famously had sex with a corpse in a dark bathroom.

Brian O’Halloran, who played Dante in Clerks, expressed his grief on Instagram, saying he was “gutted by the news.”

Kevin Smith also offered a tribute to the late actress, saying that — during the audition process — “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. “

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, who entered a career of restaurant management and event planning after her stint as an actress, is survived by her husband, Tom, a daughter, and a step-son. Her obituary notes that she “was a devoted mother and loving wife, and she was known for her strength, selflessness and faith.”

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.