Ben Best, who co-created the TV series Eastbound & Down, has passed away aged 46.
His HBO sports comedy series, which he created alongside Danny McBride and Jody Hill, ran between 2009 and 2013 for four seasons.
Production company Rough House Pictures confirmed Best’s death on social media, sharing a picture of him on Instagram.
“It’s with heavy hearts we say goodbye to our good buddy Ben Best,” they wrote. “We lost him the day before he would have turned 47.
“A hell of a friend and a creative force. He inspired us and made us laugh. Charming and hilarious. Gone way too soon. We love and miss you.”
Eastbound & Down followed McBride’s character Kenny Powers, a former baseball pitcher who is forced to return to his hometown and become a substitute PE teacher after a career downturn.
Best also acted in the show as Clegg, a friend of Powers who appears in the first two seasons.
Best and McBride worked together on a number of projects over the years including the 2011 film Your Highness that starred McBride and Natalie Portman. Best also had roles in Superbad, Observe and Report and Land Of The Lost.
Tributes have come in since the news was announced including from Seth Rogen, who tweeted: “RIP Ben Best. I remember seeing him as Chuck The Truck in Foot Fist Way and thinking ‘I have to work with this man.’
“I’m honoured I got work with him, and even more so and that I got to hang out with him and just be in his company. Watch Foot Fist Way today and bask in his genius.”
Cruella star Paul Walter Hauser added: “How the fuck did Ben Best die?! One of the funniest dudes ever. This sucks, man. 47 is way too young. #RIP and God’s blessings to his friends/family”.
RIP Ben Best. I remember seeing him as Chuck The Truck in Foot Fist Way and thinking “I have to work with this man.” I’m honored I got work with him, and even more so and that I got to hang out with him and just be in his company. Watch Foot Fist Way today and bask in his genius.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) September 12, 2021
How the fuck did Ben Best die?! One of the funniest dudes ever. This sucks, man. 47 is way too young.#RIP and God's blessings to his friends/family
— Paul Walter Hauser (@PaulWHauser) September 12, 2021
I’ll probably quote Ben Best for the rest of my life. So funny. Huge influence on me and what I think comedy can be. RIP.
— Anders Holm (@ders808) September 13, 2021
Ben Best was so funny. His short scene in SUPERBAD is one of my favorite bits in the whole movie. RIP.
— BenDavid Grabinski+ (@bdgrabinski) September 12, 2021