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Lynn Shelton, director of 'Little Fires Everywhere' and 'GLOW', dies aged 54 from blood disorder

Marc Maron, her partner and creative collaborator, said, "It’s devastating. I am leveled, heartbroken, and in complete shock and don’t really know how to move forward in this moment"
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Director, the writer and producer Lynn Shelton, known most recently for ‘G.L.O.W’ and ‘Little Fires Everywhere’, died on Friday, May 15, in Los Angeles at the age of 54. Reportedly, her death was a result of complications from a previously unidentified blood disorder.

Actor, podcaster, and stand-up comic Marc Maron, her partner, and creative collaborator, said in a statement: “I have some awful news. Lynn passed away last night. She collapsed yesterday morning after having been ill for a week. There was a previously unknown, underlying condition. It was not COVID-19. The doctors could not save her. They tried. Hard.”

Maron further wrote, “I loved her very much as I know many of you did as well. It’s devastating. I am leveled, heartbroken, and in complete shock and don’t really know how to move forward in this moment. I needed you all to know. I don’t know some of you. Some I do. I’m just trying to let the people who were important to her know.”

He added, “She was a beautiful, kind, loving, charismatic artist. Her spirit was pure joy. She made me happy. I made her happy. We were happy. I made her laugh all the time. We laughed a lot. We were starting a life together. I really can’t believe what is happening. This is a horrendous, sad loss.”

Shelton was regarded by many as a leading name in the mumblecore movement of filmmaking in the early noughties. Mumblecore is a subgenre of independent film that is largely characterized by naturalistic acting and dialogue, low-budget film production, emphasis on dialogue over plot, and a focus on personal relationships.

“It’s very easy to have creative freedom when you’re making movies for a very small amount of money,” Shelton told Variety in a 2014 interview. “The more money involved, the more complicated it becomes because there are people involved who want to make sure they’re not throwing their cash down a big hole.”

Shelton was born on August 27, 1965, in Oberlin, Ohio, and grew up in Seattle. After high school, she attended Oberlin College in Ohio and the University of Washington School of Drama. She moved to New York and pursued a Master of Fine Arts degree in photography and related media at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.

She began her career as an editor, before making her directorial debut in 2006 with ‘We Go Way Back’. ‘Humpday’ and ‘Your Sister’s Sister’ are largely considered some of her best works. Her career as a director in television includes a variety of acclaimed shows. She has directed episodes of shows like ‘Mad Men’, ‘The Good Place’, ‘The Mindy Project’, ‘Master Of None’, ‘Love’, ‘Fresh Off The Boat’, and ‘GLOW’. Her most recent work included ‘Little Fires Everywhere’, ‘The Morning Show’, and Maron’s latest special, ‘End Times Fun’.

Actor Mark Duplass, who starred in ‘Humpday’ and ‘Your Sister’s Sister’, wrote on Twitter: “We lost our dear friend Lynn Shelton. We made so many things together. I wish we had made more. Her boundless creative energy and infectious spirit were unrivaled. She made me better. We butted heads, made up, laughed, pushed each other. Like family. What a deep loss.”

Mindy Kaling wrote, “Lynn Shelton loved actors and we loved her back. She was a dream on set. Her lovely, sunny energy was infectious and actors always drifted to video village between takes to be around her. She had such a quiet power and I will miss her. Rest In Peace, Lynn. Love you.”

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay said, “Lynn Shelton changed my life when she handed me the Directing Award at Sundance in 2012. She announced my name with pride. Handed it to me with love. Rooted for me long after. I can’t believe I’m typing this. Rest In Peace, Beauty. Thank you for your films. And for your kindness.”

Shelton is survived by Maron, her parents Wendy and Alan Roedell, David ‘Mac’ Shelton and Frauke Rynd, her ex-husband Kevin Seal and their son Milo, her brothers David Shelton and Robert Rynd, and her sister Tanya Rynd.