Ash Christian, an Emmy award-winning producer, actor, filmmaker and founder of Cranium Entertainment, died in his sleep on Thursday in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. He was 35.
An exact cause of death is not known at this time.
Born on Jan. 16, 1985, in Paris, Tex., Christian began writing and directing short films at the age of 14, and moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dreams just two years later. He wrote, directed and starred in his first feature film, "Fat Girls," in 2006 at just 19 years old. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and won an award for outstanding emerging talent at L.A. Outfest.
Actor Thora Birch shared a tribute on social media. "One of my very few truly wonderful friends. He was genuinely hilarious and to loose him is just... I can't even say," she wrote.
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"In complete shock. RIP to my brother @ashchristian. This doesn't make any sense to me," producer Jordan Yale Levin posted on Instagram. "You had so much more life to live. We've shared so many great memories over the years that I'll never forget. I love you and will miss you very much."
In 2014, Christian won a Daytime Emmy for outstanding special-class short-format daytime program for "mI Promise." He shared the award with his producing partner Anne Clements and executive producers Lauralee Bell and Scott Martin.
"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," said Clements.
Christian went on to act in several television shows including "The Good Fight," "The Good Wife" and "Law and Order," but found his true calling with production. Under his company, Cranium Entertainment, Christian developed and produced films such as "1985," "Hurricane Bianca," "Burn," "Social Animals" and "Coyote Lake."
"Hurricane Bianca" star Bianca Del Rio wrote, "2020 is a rough year. @ashchristian you will be missed. Thank you for always having faith in me. Rest well, my friend."
Christian and Clements had few new releases in the works, including "Chick Fight" with Malin Akerman, Fortune Feimster and Alec Baldwin coming out in the fall, and "Paper Spiders," featuring Lili Taylor, Max Casella and Peyton List.
"With Ash, work was always fun. That's the effect he had on people. I will miss my good friend dearly, as I know so many others will as well. The world has lost a talented writer/director/producer, but most importantly, a great person who had so much more life to live" said Christian's producing partner Jordan Yale Levine of Yale Productions.
Christian and Yale Levine had recently worked on "After Everything" with Marissa Tomei, Gina Gershon and Jeremy Allen White, and "Burn" with Josh Hutcherson, Tilda Cobham-Hervey and Suki Waterhouse.