‘Play Dirty’ crew member dies suddenly aged 30

An Australian production manager who worked on the set of Mark Wahlberg’s new film ‘Play Dirty’ has been remembered as a “bright young man” as the Australian film community grapples with his unexpected death.

Ryan Cuskelly, 30, from Greater Sydney, was excited to be working as a production manager on a major film being shot in Sydney and worked hard to build his career in the film industry.

“The Play Dirty Crew and Amazon Studios serve as a tribute to Ryan’s extraordinary spirit, generosity and that contagious smile that no one will ever forget,” said the Play Dirty “Family.”

His partner of five years, Natalie Abbott, told news.com.au his death was “difficult to understand” for the Cuskelly family, their friends and also the wider film and TV industry community.

The announcement came after family and friends said Mr Cuskelly had been battling a “severe and very aggressive immune deficiency disorder and a virus”.

“He was surrounded by his family and loved ones holding his hands as he passed away,” Abbott said.

“Ryan was perfectly healthy. I would go to the gym every day. He was 30 years old, vegan, he didn’t drink, he didn’t smoke. Like he was the healthiest man I know.

“Me, his mother and his brother were there almost every day. I think the longest I’ve ever been in the hospital was more than 48 hours at a time.

“It’s confusing, there are so many questions, like how did this even happen.”

Ms. Abbott first met the production manager when she played the title role of Muriel v Muriel’s wedding the musical.

“I went and sat with Ryan in the green room and we were chatting and he told me, like, how many people cried during which part of the show,” she said.

“I remember him being so kind, always helping with anything and everything, and he was willing to help anyone, even a stranger,” she said.

With the shock of his death hitting the Sydney film industry hard, a GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help the family with the mounting costs of Mr Cuskelly’s sudden death.

“Ryan passed away too soon at age 30,” the page reads.

“Funds raised will contribute to his memorial arrangements as he leaves behind a grieving family and community.”

When news of Mr Cuskelly’s death was shared on social media, friends and loved ones flooded the site to share their memories and grief.

“It’s absolutely heartbreaking. I’m very sorry to hear that. He was an absolute shining light,” a friend wrote on Facebook.

“The loss of this wonderful young man. Ryan was the absolute best man. I am so very, very sad,” commented another.

“Ryan was one of the best. I adored him deeply,” wrote a third.

Mr. Cuskelly was also an avid volunteer with the St. Ambulance Service. John’s and was known as a “hard worker” who gave freely of his time to anyone in need.

“He really dedicated his life to helping people and he was such a hard worker, always, in everything he did,” Ms Abbott said.

“I was so proud of him, how hard he worked to last as long as possible at the end, it really showed,” she said.

Elliot Cuskelly, Mr Cuskelly’s brother, said: “I cannot express how deeply grateful my family and I are for all the posts and donations”.

A memorial service will be held in June at the Sydney Theater Company, which donated the space for the ceremony.

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