Kevin Smith called her "one of the most important people I'd ever meet".
Clerks actress Lisa Spoonauer has died at the age of 44.
Spoonauer played Caitlin Bree in the classic 1994 comedy film directed by Kevin Smith, and reprised the role for a 2001 episode of the Clerks animated series.
Her only other acting credit came in the 1997 film Bartender. According to an obituary on her funeral home’s website, she later worked as a restaurant manager and event manager.
She made a home in Jackson Township, New Jersey, and is survived by her husband, daughter and stepson, as well as other family members. She had previously been married to her Clerks co-star Jeff Andersen from 1998-9.
Paying tribute to Spoonauer on Instagram, Kevin Smith called her “one of the most important people I’d ever meet”.
He also shared the story of how he cast her in Clerks, writing: “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.”
He continued: “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.'”