Ash Christian, an Emmy-winning filmmaker and the founder of Cranium Entertainment, died unexpectedly while on vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. He was 35.
Christian had been sick for a few days toward the end of his trip, which he had been documenting joyfully on Instagram, and had visited a hospital prior to returning to where he was staying on Thursday. He died in his sleep of natural causes and was discovered Friday morning.
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Christian burst onto the film scene with the movie "Fat Girls" (2006), which he produced, directed, wrote, and in which he starred. The gay coming-of-age dramedy was a film-fest favorite, and led to numerous other opportunities.
Christian, at left, in "Fat Girls"
He had over 30 production credits to his name at the time of his death, including the short "mI promise" (2013), for which he won a Daytime Emmy, and the comedy films "Hurricane Bianca" (2016) and its 2018 sequel. The star the latter films, "RuPaul's Drag Race" winner Bianca Del Rio, posted on Instagram, "2020 is a rough year. @ashchristian you will be missed. 💔 Thank you for always having faith in me. Rest well, my friend 💔."
He was also a producer on the acclaimed gay drama "1985" (2018) and had multiple projects in various stages of production at the time of his death, including Mayim Bialik's directorial debut, "As Sick as They Made Us."
"Ash was a great friend, colleague and partner in crime. He was a champion of indie film and filmmakers and his love of the process of putting movies together was infectious. My heart goes out to his family, especially his mother. The world lost one of the good ones," his producing partner Anne Clements said in a statement.
Actor Molly Shannon, who worked with Christian on the 2016 film "Miles," wrote in an Instagram comment, "He was a wonderful guy. A very smart producer and just all-around wonderful person."
Thora Birch tweeted, "One of my very few truly wonderful friends. He was genuinely hilarious and to loose him is just... I can't even say."