Lynn Shelton Dies: ‘Humpday,’ ‘GLOW,’ ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ Director Was 54

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Writer, director, producer, actor, and editor Lynn Shelton passed away on Friday, May 15 at the age of 54 in Los Angeles due to a previously unidentified blood disorder. Shelton was among the leading voices of American independent film, working on all sides of the camera in such films as “Humpday,” “Your Sister’s Sister,” “Outside In,” and “Sword of Trust.”

She was also a prolific television director on television series such as “Mad Men,” “GLOW,” and “Little Fires Everywhere.” IndieWire recently interviewed Shelton, along with her creative and romantic partner Marc Maron, about her upcoming projects.

Related: Lynn Shelton on Women Directors, ‘There’s Still a Long Way to Go’

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

“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.

“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,” he said. “This is a horrendous, sad loss.”

Shelton’s film career began at the Slamdance Film Festival in 2006 with “We Go Way Back,” which earned the Grand Jury Prize, followed by “My Effortless Brilliance,” which premiered at SXSW in 2018. “Humpday,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009, earned acclaim and was picked up by Magnolia Pictures for distribution. The movie went on to play the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, and earned the John Cassavetes Independent Spirit Award in 2010. Her other films also include “Laggies,” and “Touchy Feely.” Shelton has also worked behind the camera extensively in the television space, most recently helming four episodes of the hit Hulu miniseries “Little Fires Everywhere,” the suburban melodrama based on the novel by Celeste Ng, and has directed for other series including “The Morning Show,” “Dickinson,” “A.P. Bio,” “Love,” “Fresh off the Boat,” “Casual,” “New Girl,” and “The Good Place.”

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

Lynn Shelton is survived by her son Milo Seal, her husband of many years Kevin Seal, her parents Wendy and Alan Roedell, and David “Mac” Shelton and Frauke Rynd. She is also survived by her brothers David Shelton, Robert Rynd and sister Tanya Rynd, as well as Maron, with whom she spent the last year of her life.

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