The Devastating Death Of 'Super Size Me' Director Morgan Spurlock

Morgan Spurlock serving food
Morgan Spurlock serving food - Ernesto Di Stefano Photography/Getty Images

During the peak of the Y2K era, water cooler chats and dinner parties everywhere were swept up in conversations about "supersized foods." Certainly, looking back at McDonald's infamous upgrade was nothing new — the option to jumbo-up fries and sodas upon request at the Golden Arches had been going on since the late 1980s. Who, or what, would fix a blindingly bright spotlight on the fast food empire's extravagant practice decades later?

Documentarian Morgan Spurlock, who died Thursday and whose death was formally confirmed on Friday in an obituary, decided to wade through the muck. His film "Super Size Me" (2004)  -- which may not have been entirely accurate -- explored the darker side of the drive-thru chain, shocking audiences with his month-long journey subsisting off of Mickey D's morning, noon, and night. Documenting gross things about McDonald's and his subsequent health scares were the major focus; the 30-day trial infamously wrapped up with the sluggish filmmaker discovering he'd gained 25 pounds and a slew of other health concerns along the way, ranging from depression to high cholesterol to a diminished libido. 

Even after the movie's initial blitz, the director, who was born in West Virginia and studied film at NYU, racked up an extensive resume of projects. Many of the nearly 70 movies he produced and directed during his career merged pointed commentary with a playful bent, though scrutiny regarding their over-sensationalist tones was a regular criticism.

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The 53-Year-Old Documentarian Died From Cancer

Morgan Spurlock in conversation
Morgan Spurlock in conversation - Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

According to family members of the late filmmaker, Spurlock's passing in Upstate New York was due to "complications of cancer." His death at the age of 53 has spurred numerous tributes from close relatives, along with figures spanning the entertainment industry at large. "Morgan gave so much through his art, ideas, and generosity," mourned his brother (and collaborator) Carl Spurlock in a statement, adding that "The world has lost a true creative genius and a special man. I am so proud to have worked together with him."

Online, remembrances also came from outside the food world, with "The Simpsons" writer Al Jean paying his respects on X, formally known as Twitter. In the post, the longtime screenwriter referred to Spurlock as "a very talented, funny, and brilliant man," and called his passing "a great loss." (Spurlock, for those who don't know, directed a one-off "mockumentary" for the series titled "Springfield of Dreams: The Legend of Homer Simpson.") Director Brett Morgen reflected on Spurlock's creative legacy as well, hailing him in a tweet as "one of the most important and influential filmmakers of my time." Other users on the platform expressed condolences of their own, lamenting the sudden nature of the news as well as Spurlock's relatively young age.

Read the original article on Mashed