Morgan Spurlock, ‘Super Size Me’ Director, Has Died At 53

Morgan Spurlock
NEW YORK, NY – MAY 13: Morgan Spurlock attends the Turner Upfront 2015 at Madison Square Garden on May 13, 2015 in New York City. 25201_002_TW_0070.JPG (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Turner)

Morgan Spurlock, a documentary filmmaker who captured his own psychological and physical symptoms from eating McDonald’s every day for a month in the Oscar-nominated 2004 feature “Super Size Me,” died Thursday in upstate New York due to complications of cancer. He was 53.

His family shared that the filmmaker was at peace in his final moments, surrounded by friends and family. His brother Craig Spurlock, who collaborated with his celebrity sibling on multiple projects, reportedly stated:

“It was a sad day, as we said goodbye to my brother Morgan…Morgan gave so much through his art, ideas and generosity. Today the world has lost a true creative genius and a special man. I am so proud to have worked together with him.”

Spurlock rose to prominence for “Super Size Me,” in which he conducted an experiment involving consuming only food from McDonald’s for a 30-day stretch. The rules also included the stipulation that Spurlock could not refuse the “super-size” option if prompted during the transaction. The filmmaker also exercised less to match the average American’s physical activity. By the end of the experiment, Spurlock claimed that he gained 25 pounds and suffered from depression and liver dysfunction.

Shedding light on the serious health risks associated with consuming too much fast food, the movie became a critically acclaimed success, effectively ending most fast-food chains’ “super size” options. It also educated many Americans on the dangers of highly processed foods and continues to do so years later.

In the 13 years following “Super Size Me,” Spurlock gained additional success as a filmmaker. Under his production company Warrior Poets, Spurlock produced and directed nearly 70 documentary films and television series. Spurlock’s wide-ranging works were fueled by addressing controversial and topical subjects. His projects covered issues including the U.S. war in Afghanistan (“Where In the the World Is Osama Bin Laden”), minimum wage and immigrant labor (“30 Days”); consumer susceptibility to marketing (The Greatest Movie Ever Sold”); trophy hunting and body modification (“7 Deadly Sins”); elder care and gambling (“Morgan Spurlock Inside Man”) and corporate pressure on family farms (“Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!”).