Lynn Shelton was best known for her work on indie films including Your Sister's Sister and television series GLOW and Little Fires Everywhere
Lynn Shelton
Lynn Shelton
| Credit: Fred Hayes/Getty Images

Lynn Shelton, a leading voice in the world of independent film and the director of several popular television series, died in Los Angeles on Friday. She was 54.

Shelton died of a previously unidentified blood disorder, her publicist Adam Kersh confirmed, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"I have some awful news. Lynn passed away last night,” comedian Marc Maron, who was Shelton's romantic and creative partner for the past year, shared in a statement with IndieWire. "She collapsed yesterday morning after having been ill for a week...It was not COVID-19. The doctors could not save her. They tried. Hard."

Maron, who worked with Shelton on Netflix's GLOW, shared that he is "in complete shock" and is trying to grasp how to move forward with the loss.

"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 added. “This is a horrendous, sad loss.”

The Seattle native made her directorial debut in 2006 with the indie film We Go Way Back, and her career later took off with Humpday in 2009.

In the last 14 years, Shelton wrote and directed eight feature films, including Your Sister's Sister and Sword of Trust, which starred Maron in 2019.

Shelton also has credits on some of the most popular television shows, including recent Hulu series Little Fires Everywhere, The Morning Show, Mad Men, The Mindy Project, Fresh Off the Boat, and New Girl.

Upon hearing the news, several of Shelton's former colleagues paid tribute to the late filmmaker on social media.

Reese Witherspoon, who starred in Little Fires Everywhere and The Morning Show, shared her condolences online. "I’m so devastated to hear about Lynn Shelton’s passing yesterday. I’m in complete shock that this vibrant, talented, and soulful filmmaker is no longer with us. Lynn was so passionate about our show, Little Fires Everywhere," the actress wrote.

"She said the book truly spoke to her, and that she longed to direct a show that spoke meaningfully about motherhood, sexuality, race, and class in America. And she did. She cared deeply about the WHOLE cast and crew, making sure we all felt heard, seen and appreciated. Lynn also shared so much of her life with us," Witherspoon said. "Her love of her son, how motherhood changed her life, her life changing decisions that made her the woman she was. I feel so fortunate that I got to collaborate with Lynn on both The Morning Show and Little Fires Everywhere. Her spirit touched so many people in the filmmaking world. Her memory lives on in our vivid days together on set and in her wonderful films. Please watch her work and see her talent for yourself. #RestInPeaceLynn."

Mark Duplass, who starred in Humpday and worked with Shelton on several projects including The Morning Show, said hearing the devastating news was "a deep loss."

"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," he wrote.

Mindy Kaling, who worked with the director on The Mindy Project, honored Shelton for being a "dream" to work with on set.

"Lynn Shelton loved actors and we loved her back. Her lovely, sunny energy was infectious and actors always drifted to video village between takes to be around her," she recalled. "She had such a quiet power and I will miss her."


Ava DuVernay remembered Shelton for an intimate moment that they shared together at Sundance.

"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 your kindness," she wrote.

Actress Chloe Grace Moretz also paid tribute online. "I have no words to describe the pain and shock of hearing this. Lynn was the most incredibly bright light. Her laugh was truly contagious," Moretz said.

"The world lost a beautiful soul today, my heart goes out to her entire family in this difficult time. I’m so honored to have had the chance to know her and be in her world for even a moment. Rest peacefully ♥️ you are so incredibly missed," she added.

Shelton is survived by her former husband of eight years, Kevin Seal, and their son Milo.