Lisa Spoonauer, best known for playing Caitlin Bree, Dante’s (Brian O’Halloran) high school girlfriend in Kevin Smith’s 1994 film “Clerks,” has died. She was 44.
Smith confirmed the sad news on Tuesday via a heartfelt message on Instagram. “Devastated to report that Lisa Spoonauer, who played Caitlin in ‘Clerks,’ has passed away,” Smith wrote.
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While looking for the right actress to play Caitlin, Smith discovered Lisa in an acting class at Brookdale Community College in New Jersey. “In 1992, I went looking for Lisa without knowing either who she was or the integral role she’d play in my life,” the director wrote. “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 added, “A complete stranger at first, Lisa quickly became one of the most important people I’d ever meet when she joined Brian, Jeff Anderson, Marilyn (Ghigliotti), Jay Mewes, Scott Mosier, David Klein, and me as one of the chief architects of my first film.”
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After “Clerks,” Lisa appeared in Gabe Torres’ 1997 film “Bartender.” She then reprised her role as the voice of Caitlin in the 2001 “Clerks” animated series, her third and final acting credit.
Smith also praised Lisa’s role as a mother. “But as strong an actress as she was, Lisa was an even more excellent Mother to her daughter Mia,” he wrote. “Whenever we’d [Facetime] later in life, she’d gush about her baby girl proudly.”
The director concluded, “My heart goes out to Tom, Mia and Lisa’s family. Thank you for dreaming my dream with me. You changed my life, Lisa.”
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