Docu-maker Spurlock, who skewered fast food, dies at 53

Morgan Spurlock, the American documentary film-maker, has died aged 53.

Morgan Spurlock, the American documentary film-maker, has died aged 53. Photo: Getty

Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, an Oscar-nominee who famously ate only McDonald’s for a month to illustrate the dangers of a fast-food diet, has died. He was 53.

Spurlock died on Thursday in New York from complications of cancer, according to a statement issued on Friday (US time) by his family.

“It was a sad day, as we said goodbye to my brother Morgan,” Craig Spurlock, who worked with him on several projects, in the statement.

“Morgan gave so much through his art, ideas, and generosity. The world has lost a true creative genius and a special man. I am so proud to have worked together with him.”

Spurlock made a splash in 2004 with his groundbreaking film Super Size Me, which was nominated for an Academy Award.

The film chronicled the detrimental physical and psychological effects of Spurlock eating only McDonald’s food for 30 days.

He gained about 25 pounds, saw a spike in his cholesterol and lost his sex drive.

“Everything’s bigger in America,” he said in the film. “We’ve got the biggest cars, the biggest houses, the biggest companies, the biggest food, and finally: the biggest people.”

Spurlock returned in 2017 with Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! — a sober look at an industry that processes 9 billion animals a year in America.

Spurlock was a gonzo-like filmmaker who leaned into the bizarre and ridiculous.

His stylistic touches included zippy graphics and amusing music, blending a Michael Moore-ish camera-in-your-face style with his own sense of humour and pathos.

Spurlock made more than 20 films and documentaries, including 2008’s Where in the World is Osama bin Laden, and a movie about One Direction — This Is Us.

One of his films looked at life behind bars at the Henrico County Jail in Virginia.

Morgan Spurlock made more than 20 films and documentaries on varying themes. Photo: Getty

Spurlock grew up in Beckley, West Virginia. His mother was an English teacher who he remembered would correct his work with a red pen.

He graduated with a BFA in film from New York University in 1993.

He is survived by two sons — Laken and Kallen; his mother Phyllis Spurlock; father Ben; brothers Craig and Barry; and former spouses Alexandra Jamieson and Sara Bernstein, the mothers of his children.


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