Director and producer Lynn Shelton, who stewarded several popular indie films, including “Humpday,” and also directed a number of episodes for prominent TV shows like “Glow” and “Mad Men,” has died from a previously undisclosed blood disorder, her publicist said on Saturday. She was 54.
Shelton’s prolific output included directing five episodes of “New Girl,” eight episodes of “Fresh off the Boat,” five episodes of “Glow,” two episodes of “Maron” and one episode of “Mad Men,” among work on several other TV series.
The Seattle native started off as an aspiring actor and photographer in her 20s but eventually moved towards filmmaking after being inspired by French director Claire Denis, who had shared she didn’t direct her first movie until she was 40. Shelton directed her first film, “We Go Way Back,” in 2006, but her break came in 2009, when “Humpday,” starring Joshua Leonard, Alycia Delmore and longtime collaborator Mark Duplass, premiered at Sundance and received rave reviews. “Humpday” was acquired and distributed by Magnolia Pictures afterward and later won the Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award in 2010.
She reunited with Duplass for 2011’s “Your Sister’s Sister,” a comedy-drama also starring Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt. Shelton went on to direct “Touchy Feely” in 2013 and the Keira Knightly-led “Laggies” in 2014. Her next film, “Outside In,” was her first dramatic film and starred Edie Falco and Jay Duplass in a movie about a convict who falls in love with his old high school teacher. The last film Shelton directed and produced was “Sword of Trust,” a comedy starring Marc Maron, with whom she spent the last year of her life.
Shelton was born on August 27, 1965 in Oberlin, Ohio. She was raised in Seattle and later returned to her birthplace to attend Oberlin College before entering the University of Washington’s school of drama. Shelton also earned a Master’s of Fine Arts in photography from the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.
Shelton is survived by her son, Milo Seal, her former husband Kevin Seal, whom she was married to from 2001 to 2019. She is also survived by her parents Wendy and Alan Roedell and David “Mac” Shelton and Frauke Rynd and three siblings.