Kevin Smith is remembering a key player in his breakthrough movie, Clerks. The actress who played Caitlyn Bree, Lisa Spoonauer, has died at the age of 44. Smith eulogized the lifelong New Jersey resident with a long post on Instagram. Smith shared the story of discovering her at a Brookdale Community College acting class in 1992.

The director and writer remembers the Union County native as 'one of the chief architects' of his first film. Smith says 'as strong an actress as she was, Lisa was an even more excellent Mother to her daughter Mia.' He added 'Thank you for dreaming my dream with me. You changed my life, Lisa.'

Spoonauer met her first husband, actor Jeff Anderson on the set of Clerks. They were divorced in 1999 and Spoonauer later re-married. She's survived by her husband, daughter and stepson, among a large extended family.

Clerks co-star Brian O'Halloran also paid tribute to Spoonauer on Instagram, writing 'She always had a wicked sense of humor and smile.'

Visitation hours for Spoonhauer are in Ocean County on Friday. Her funeral is Saturday morning at a church in Jackson. Spoonhauer's family has created a Just Giving webpage, for donations in her memory to the Patient Advocate Foundation.

Here's Kevin Smith's full Instagram post: 

Proud Jersey Girl Erin Vogt’s first reporting gig involved her Fisher Price tape recorder. As a wife and momma of two kiddies, she firmly believes that life’s too short to drink bad coffee.  A fan of the beach, Dave Grohl and karma, in no particular order.

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