Who Was Morgan Spurlock? Remembering The Documentary Pioneer Who Died At 53

Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, known for Super Size Me, died at 53 after battling cancer. His documentaries challenged societal norms and inspired critical thinking.

Published on May 24, 2024  |  11:40 PM IST |  37.4K
Morgan Spurlock dies at the age of 53 (Credit: Instagram/MorganSpurlock)
Morgan Spurlock dies at the age of 53 (Credit: Instagram/MorganSpurlock)
Key Highlight
  • Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me exposed the dangers of fast-food
  • Spurlock's career was marred by a 2017 confession of past sexual misconduct

Trigger warning: This article contains a reference to death.

Morgan Spurlock, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker behind the groundbreaking documentary Super Size Me, died aged 53 after a secretive cancer fight. A family statement said Spurlock died peacefully in New York, surrounded by his loved ones. Earlier this year, he had chemotherapy.

Span of influence

At the Sundance Film Festival, Spurlock’s Super Size Me premiered twenty years ago. In the movie, for one month, Spurlock ate nothing but McDonald’s fast food as a way to illustrate the effects of an unhealthy diet. 

This experiment led to significant weight gain and severe damage to his liver. The film grossed over $20 million worldwide, an impressive feat for a documentary that launched Spurlock into stardom.

Spurlocks other notable works were Mansome, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, and Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden?. He sported a trademark mustache with its handles on screen alongside that warm smile of his too many times throughout his works. 

His films were comedic takes on serious matters like advertising, consumerism, masculinity, and terrorism. Still, he was also responsible for directing One Direction: This Is Us, which is about a British boy band that has gained popularity.

Morgan Spurlock dies at the age of 53 (Credit: Instagram/MorganSpurlock)

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Personal struggles and legacy

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Such actions damaged him as sexual scandals arose during the #MeToo movement in 2017. Admitting in a blog post that he had done some wrong things resulted in him stepping down from Warrior Poets, a company he had established himself as the founder of. 

In it, he detailed previous misdeeds, including an event from college and a harassment claim while working at his firm. He also confessed that he did not always remain faithful to his partners.

But these polemics did not stop Spurlock from being respected within the world of documentary-making. According to his family, he was described as a genius artist who used laughter with cleverness to challenge our ethical norms. 

He made nearly 70 movies and television series through his company, Warrior Poets. On top of that, Spurlock’s love for modern art led him to create an expansive collection covering the walls of his house and office.

By 2016, Spurlock had purchased the rights to a book about Sue Mengers, the former Hollywood superagent, but failed to make it happen. This was when he stopped appearing in public compared to how he used to dominate headlines as before.

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Morgan Spurlock dies at the age of 53 (Credit: Instagram/MorganSpurlock)

A lasting influence

Morgan leaves behind an extended family, including Laken and Kallen (his two sons), Phyllis (mother), Ben (father), Craig and Barry (brothers), and his former wives- Alexandra Jamieson and Sara Bernstein. His family plans to announce memorial service arrangements soon and has requested donations to the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in New York City in honor of him.

Craig Spurlock, talking about their joint products involving Morgan Spurlock's Inside Man and 7 Deadly Sins, says that they have lost a true creative genius as well as a special man. The films by Spurlock encouraged viewers’ analysis of usual things that will always remain part of any documentary history.

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FAQs

What was Morgan Spurlock's most famous film?
Super Size Me, where he ate only McDonald's food for 30 days to highlight its health impacts.

How did Spurlock's career change in 2017?
He admitted to past sexual misconduct, leading to his resignation from Warrior Poets.

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About The Author

Shovan has a Masters in Mass Communication and Journalism degree from Calcutta University. He loves to live in the

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