Eastbound And Down Co-Creator Ben Best Is Dead At 46

Clegg (Ben Best) looks on in Eastbound & Down

Ben Best, known best for his collaborations with Danny McBride on productions like Eastbound & Down, has died. The actor and producer sadly passed away this past Sunday from unknown causes. He was 46 at the time of his death.

During his career, Ben Best worked closely with Rough House Pictures, the production company run by Danny McBride, Jody Hill and David Gordon Green. It was the company that formally announced Best’s passing and, in a statement (via Instagram), it paid loving tribute to the late creative:

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.

The post also included a picture of Best, in which he’s relaxing in front of what appears to be a trailer. You can check out the post for yourself down below:

A photo posted by on

After meeting Danny McBride during their days at UNC, Ben Best became his writing partner, along with David Gordon Green and Jody Hill. Best, McBride and Hill have collaborated on a number of productions over the years, but Eastbound & Down is arguably their most well-known project -- and for good reason.

The HBO series, which premiered back in 2009, centered on former major league baseball player Kenny Powers, played by Danny McBride. With his career having been tarnished due to his ego and poor work ethic, Powers returns to his hometown in North Carolina, where he becomes a substitute physical education teacher. And all the while, he makes attempts to restart his career. The series received mostly positive reviews during its run and has since developed a cult following. The show ultimately ended its run in 2013 after four seasons.

Ben Best wore a number of hats while working on Eastbound & Down. Aside from being co-creator and an executive producer, he also has several writing credits on the series. He also memorably played the role of Clegg, an old friend Kenny reunites with when he returns to town.

Clegg was only one of the acting credits Ben Best had under his belt. He also appeared in notable comedies like Superbad, Land of the Lost and Observe and Report. One of his most unique film roles, however, arguably came in the 2006 black karate comedy The Foot Fist Way, which Best wrote alongside McBride (who starred as the lead) and Jody Hill. In the movie, Best played low-rent Chuck "the Truck" Wallace, the idol of McBride’s character. While the film didn't become a hit with mainstream audiences, it also developed a cult following and is a testament to the unique comedy style of Best and his collaborators.

We here at CinemaBlend extend our condolences to the loved ones of Ben Best during this time.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.