Marc Maron and many more mourn director Lynn Shelton: ‘We were starting a life together’

"Lynn didn't just know everybody's name, she knew their partner's name, their kid's name, their kid's school," said actress Keira Knightley. "It was so chill."
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Following news of Lynn Shelton’s tragic death on Friday, the beloved indie film director’s fans, friends and collaborators took to Twitter to pay tribute.

Marc Maron, Shelton’s partner, confirmed that she collapsed Thursday morning after having been ill for a week and that doctors were unsuccessful in saving her. The Seattle native died of a previously unknown blood disorder at the age of 54.

“I loved her very much as I know many of you did as well,” he said in a statement. “It’s devastating. I am leveled, heartbroken and in complete shock and don’t really know how to move forward in this moment.


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

Shelton, who’d most recently directed four episodes of Hulu’s “Little Fires Everywhere,” was remembered fondly by the series’ stars Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon.

In addition to “Little Fires Everywhere,” Shelton also directed episodes of “Mad Men,” “GLOW,” “The Mindy Project” and “Fresh Off the Boat.” She made her directorial debut at the Sundance Film Festival with “We Go Way Back” in 2006 before achieving greater success with her 2009 feature, “Humpday,” starring Joshua Leonard and Mark Duplass.

Sometimes she would appear in her films, as she did last year in “Sword of Trust.” Times film critic Justin Chang, in his appreciation of Shelton’s career, said that “in one six-minute scene” she “manages to convey [her character’s] longtime struggle with addiction and loss.”

Lynn Shelton, a pillar of the independent filmmaking community, died Friday at 54. Times film critic Justin Chang on the director who loved actors.

“The poignancy is made even more unbearable,” Chang writes, “by the fact that Mel is played — beautifully — by Marc Maron, Shelton’s romantic partner and frequent collaborator, with whom she was writing a new movie.”