Reese Witherspoon ‘in complete shock’ over death of director Lynn Shelton at 54

Tributes have poured in for Little Fires Everywhere director Lynn Shelton, after she passed away at the age of 54.

Reese Witherspoon said she was ‘devastated’ about Lynn’s death on Friday, from a previously undisclosed blood disorder.

Lynn Shelton passed away on Friday at the age of 54. Photo: Getty Images

“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,” Reese wrote on Instagram.

“Lynn was so passionate about our show, Little Fires Everywhere. 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. 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.”

Comedian and actor Marc Maron has also issued a statement sharing his grief following the sudden death of his partner, Lynn.

Maron — whose Netflix show, Glow, was among Shelton’s many directing credits — said his partner had been “ill” for a week in a statement to IndieWire. He also clarified that her death was not connected to COVID-19.

“I have some awful news,” the 56-year-old WTF with Marc Maron podcast host wrote. “Lynn passed away last night. She collapsed yesterday morning after having been ill for a week. There was a previously unknown, underlying condition. It was not COVID-19. The doctors could not save her. They tried. Hard.”

Her partner, Marc Maron confirmed that Lynn had been ill for a week before her death. Photo: Getty Images
Shelton died on May 15 due to a blood disorder. Photo: Getty Images

Maron, who also starred in Shelton’s 2019 film Sword of Trust, described himself as “leveled, heartbroken and in complete shock” over the loss, hailing his late girlfriend as a “beautiful, kind, loving, charismatic artist” with whom he was “starting a life.”

“I loved her very much as I know many of you did as well,” he continued. “It’s devastating. I am leveled, heartbroken and in complete shock and don’t really know how to move forward in this moment. I needed you all to know. I don’t know some of you. Some I do. I’m just trying to let the people who were important to her know.

“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. This is a horrendous, sad loss.”

The couple had discussed their plans for another film collaboration in an IndieWire interview on May 7, just a week before Shelton’s death.

Shelton — a mother of one whose directing credits also include episodes of Mad Men, New Girl, The Morning Show and the recently released Little Fires Everywhere, as well as indie films like Humpday, Touchy Feely and Your Sister’s Sister — was also mourned in posts from celebrity collaborators Kerry Washington, Mark Duplass and Mindy Kaling.

Kerry Washington wrote: “Lynn Shelton. You walked into my life and immediately changed me for the better. What an inspiration!!!! Your vision. Your enthusiasm for life. Your fiercely independent spirit. Your humor and love and dedication. As an artist. A mother. A director. A co-conspirator. A light. Thank you for your shining example. And your shimmering grace.
”I am heartbroken. And sending love to all who know and love you. This is a tremendous loss.”

Words by Erin Donnelly

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