Ben Best, the co-creator of HBO’s “Eastbound & Down” who also played Clegg in the series, has died. He was 46.
Rough House Pictures, which produced “Eastbound & Down,” confirmed the news of Best’s death on Instagram with the caption, “It’s with heavy hearts we say goodbye to our good buddy Ben Best. 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.”
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Best co-created “Eastbound & Down” with long time writing partners Jody Hill and Danny McBride, who starred as Kenny Powers, a washed up former professional baseball pitcher who returns to his hometown middle school to teach physical education.
He also appeared in eight episodes as Clegg, the town’s drugged up local bartender and Kenny’s longtime friend.
Before teaming up for “Eastbound & Down,” Best, Hill and McBride co-wrote “The Foot Fist Way,” a low-budget dark comedy that later garnered a cult following. McBride starred as Fred Simmons, a Taekwondo teacher dealing with marital troubles and an unhealthy obsession with B movie action star Chuck “The Truck” Wallace, played by Best.
Best also wrote the film “Your Highness” with McBride, who starred alongside Natalie Portman, James Franco, Rasmus Hardiker, Toby Jones, Justin Theroux and Zooey Deschanel, and he appeared in movies including “Superbad,” “What Happens in Vegas,” “Observe and Report” and “Land of the Lost.”
Seth Rogen, who worked with Best on “Superbad” and “Observe and Report,” paid tribute to Best on Twitter, writing, “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.”
Comedian Adam Pally also put out a remembrance for Best writing “RIP Ben Best – truly can not put how much foot fist way meant to me. Sucks.”
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