Zack Estrin – known for his work on Prison Break and Netflix’s Lost In Space – has died, aged 51.
The writer-producer died in Hermosa Beach, California, on Friday September 23, confirmed by his talent agency, WME.
Circumstances surrounding Estrin’s death are not currently clear. Estrin is suspected of dying from a cardiac arrest after collapsing while jogging, through an exact cause of death is still pending an autopsy.
In a statement per Variety, Estrin’s family called him “the best husband, father, son and friend. “Zack Estrin was our everything,” the statement read. “He loved to make everyone happy. He loved to make everyone laugh. He loved being a writer/producer and being a part of creating these shows that people enjoyed. But above all, he loved his family and friends.
“Thank you all for being a part of his life and ours.”
Born in California, Estrin was raised in Brooklyn, New York. After attending the University of Southern California, his began his career as a producer on films such as Stranger Than Fiction and O. Transitioning into television in the 1990s, Estrin worked as a producer on such shows as Charmed, Dawson’s Creek and Tru Calling.
He went on to become executive producer and writer for the award-winning Fox drama Prison Break. In more recent years, Estrin delivered three fantasy dramas for ABC; The Whispers, The River and Once Upon A Time In Wonderland.
Perhaps most notably, Estrin served as executive producer and showrunner on the reimagined Netflix sci-fi adventure Lost In Space (2018-2021).
At the time of his death, Estrin had been developing new projects as part of his contract with Netflix. Matt Thunell, Netflix VP of series, said in a statement: “Zack was a beloved writer, producer, and partner, whose work taught us to seek adventure and trust in family. His vision and passion will be greatly missed.”
WME President Ari Greenburg also paid respect to Estrin. “He had a tremendously successful career and mentored so many writers,” Greenburg said in a statement. “We are so proud of all his accomplishments and feel blessed to have called him a friend.”
Estrin is survived by his father, veteran TV writer Jonathan Estrin, mother Patricia, wife Kari, daughters Charlotte and Chloe, and sister and step-siblings Amelia Burstyn, Dylan Arrants, Julie List and Laura Humphrey.
Several of Estrin’s peers paid tribute to him on social media.
Television writer and producer Jane Espenson said: “He was funny, kind, and irrepressible in the best way.”
I was lucky to work with Zack Estrin twice, on Tru Calling and on Once/Wonderland. He was funny, kind, and irrepressible in the best way. Very sad about this loss. https://t.co/jhL6Z2pEpK
— Jane Espenson (@JaneEspenson) September 26, 2022
Oh my god. I worked with him years ago. This is gutting.
— Sarah Watson (@SarahWatson42) September 26, 2022
He was my friend, and just the best guy, and I’m so, so sad https://t.co/JTLHToB0o5
— Ben Wexler (@mrbenwexler) September 26, 2022
I only knew Zack through an online community of writers, but he was a tremendously kind and always brilliant guy. So shocking and tragic. A tremendous loss for us all. https://t.co/KDBKIyvHey
— 𝚃𝚢𝚕𝚎𝚛 𝙷𝚒𝚜𝚎𝚕 (@TylerHisel) September 26, 2022
— Norman Golightly (@NormanGolightly) September 26, 2022