JACKSON, N.J. — Lisa Spoonauer, an actress who starred in the 1994 award-winning movie “Clerks,” has died. She was 44.
Spoonauer died Sunday at her home in Jackson, the George Hassler Funeral Home said. The cause of death wasn’t released.
The local coroner’s office said the actress died of natural causes, according to People magazine.
Her brother, Mike Spoonauer, wrote on a fundraising page for Patient Advocate Foundation: “Our sister Lisa, if she had gotten better, was going to devote the rest of her life to fighting for those with chronic illness who didn’t have the strength or the resources to get the right answers and ultimately obtain the correct course of treatment for themselves.”
Kevin Smith cast Spoonauer in the role of Caitlin Bree in his first movie, which was set in the New Jersey convenience and video stores where he worked in real life.
On Instagram on Tuesday, Smith wrote that she was one of “the chief architects” of the movie, which won him accolades at the Cannes Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival.
He recalled that he first met Spoonauer in 1992 in an acting class at Brookdale Community College.
“Lisa was easily the most natural and authentic voice in the room,” Smith wrote. “She didn’t sound like she was acting at all.”
In the movie, her character gets back together with her high school boyfriend Dante Hicks, who was played by Brian O’Halloran.
“She always had a wicked sense of humor and smile,” O’Halloran wrote on Instagram.
Spoonauer soon left acting and became a restaurant manager and event planner.
She is survived by her husband, her daughter and a stepson.
Her funeral is scheduled for Saturday.