'Super Size Me' documentary maker Morgan Spurlock, who ate only McDonald's for a month, dies at 53

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By Michelle H

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Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, an Oscar-nominated director who dedicated his life to exploring food and American diets, has passed away at 53.

Known for his audacious stunt of eating only McDonald’s for a month to highlight the risks of a fast-food diet, Spurlock made a lasting impact on the industry.

Check out the trailer for Super Size Me:


Spurlock died on Thursday in New York due to complications from cancer, according to a statement released by his family on Friday.

“It was a sad day, as we said goodbye to my brother Morgan,” said Craig Spurlock - who collaborated with him on numerous projects - in a statement via ABC News. “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 first made waves in 2004 with his trailblazing documentary Super Size Me, and followed it up in 2019 with Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! — offering a stark examination of an industry that processes 9 billion animals annually in the U.S.

Morgan Spurlock shot to fame with his 2004 documentary Super Size Me. Credit: Randall Michelson Archive / Getty

Renowned for his gonzo filmmaking style, Spurlock embraced the bizarre and the ridiculous. His work was characterized by zippy graphics and amusing music, blending a Michael Moore-esque, confrontational approach with his unique humor and emotional depth.

Spurlock’s exposés on the fast-food and chicken industries spurred a surge in restaurants emphasizing freshness, artisanal techniques, farm-to-table quality, and ethically sourced ingredients. However, nutritional improvements have been limited.

Spurlock has passed away at the age of 53. Credit: Jemal Countess / Getty

“There has been this massive shift and people say to me, ‘So has the food gotten healthier?’ And I say, ‘Well, the marketing sure has,’” he told the AP in 2019.

In the 13 years following Super Size Me, Spurlock found even more success with his production company, Warrior Poets, producing and directing nearly 70 documentary films and television series.

Spurlock’s extensive body of work was driven by his passion for tackling controversial and topical issues. His projects spanned a wide range of subjects, including the U.S. war in Afghanistan (Where In 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!).

Featured image credit: Jemal Countess / Getty

'Super Size Me' documentary maker Morgan Spurlock, who ate only McDonald's for a month, dies at 53

vt-author-image

By Michelle H

Article saved!Article saved!

Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, an Oscar-nominated director who dedicated his life to exploring food and American diets, has passed away at 53.

Known for his audacious stunt of eating only McDonald’s for a month to highlight the risks of a fast-food diet, Spurlock made a lasting impact on the industry.

Check out the trailer for Super Size Me:


Spurlock died on Thursday in New York due to complications from cancer, according to a statement released by his family on Friday.

“It was a sad day, as we said goodbye to my brother Morgan,” said Craig Spurlock - who collaborated with him on numerous projects - in a statement via ABC News. “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 first made waves in 2004 with his trailblazing documentary Super Size Me, and followed it up in 2019 with Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! — offering a stark examination of an industry that processes 9 billion animals annually in the U.S.

Morgan Spurlock shot to fame with his 2004 documentary Super Size Me. Credit: Randall Michelson Archive / Getty

Renowned for his gonzo filmmaking style, Spurlock embraced the bizarre and the ridiculous. His work was characterized by zippy graphics and amusing music, blending a Michael Moore-esque, confrontational approach with his unique humor and emotional depth.

Spurlock’s exposés on the fast-food and chicken industries spurred a surge in restaurants emphasizing freshness, artisanal techniques, farm-to-table quality, and ethically sourced ingredients. However, nutritional improvements have been limited.

Spurlock has passed away at the age of 53. Credit: Jemal Countess / Getty

“There has been this massive shift and people say to me, ‘So has the food gotten healthier?’ And I say, ‘Well, the marketing sure has,’” he told the AP in 2019.

In the 13 years following Super Size Me, Spurlock found even more success with his production company, Warrior Poets, producing and directing nearly 70 documentary films and television series.

Spurlock’s extensive body of work was driven by his passion for tackling controversial and topical issues. His projects spanned a wide range of subjects, including the U.S. war in Afghanistan (Where In 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!).

Featured image credit: Jemal Countess / Getty