'Eastbound & Down' Co-Creator Ben Best Dead at 46, One Day Before His Birthday

Ben Best’s death was announced by Rough House Pictures, the production company run by frequent collaborators Danny McBride, David Gordon Green and Jody Hill

ben best
Photo: Mark Mainz/Getty

Ben Best, a co-creator behind the HBO comedy Eastbound & Down starring Danny McBride, has died. He was 46.

The actor-writer — who also appeared in the comedy Superbad — died the day before his 47th birthday, according to Rough House Pictures, the production company managed by his regular collaborators McBride, David Gordon Green and Jody Hill.

A cause of death has not been disclosed.

"It's with heavy hearts we say goodbye to our good buddy Ben Best," the production company wrote Sunday on Instagram, alongside an image of Best seated outdoors in front of a trailer.

"We lost him the day before he would have turned 47. A hell of a friend and a creative force. He inspired us and made us laugh. Charming and hilarious. Gone way too soon. We love and miss you," the statement concluded.

In addition to Eastbound & Down, which ran for four seasons from 2009 until 2013 on HBO, Best wrote and costarred with McBride in the 2006 cult comedy The Foot Fist Way, which was directed by Hill.

Best met both McBride and Hill when they were students at the UNC School of the Arts in North Carolina, according to Deadline. He also had a cowriting credit on the 2011 comedy Your Highness, which costarred McBride, James Franco, and Natalie Portman.

As an actor, Best portrayed Quince Danbury in 2007's Superbad, and also appeared in the 2009 Will Ferrell film Land of the Lost.

His other acting credits include 2009's Observe and Report as well as the 2008 Ashton Kutcher-Cameron Diaz romantic comedy What Happens in Vegas.

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Best's Observe and Report costar Seth Rogen took to Twitter on Sunday afternoon to pay homage to the fallen star, writing, "RIP Ben Best. I remember seeing him as Chuck The Truck in Foot Fist Way and thinking 'I have to work with this man.' "

He added, "I'm honored I got work with him, and even more so and that I got to hang out with him and just be in his company. Watch Foot Fist Way today and bask in his genius."

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