Melanie Olmstead is fondly remembered as a horse lover, activist and crew member of some Hollywood movies. She worked behind the scenes in the transport department for several productions in her lifetime, where she organized transportation and travel for film productions in her native town of Utah. But the woman who also served as a location assistant was mostly unknown until her demise on May 25, 2019, at the age of 50.
It created a bit of confusion when Paramount Network aired the season 2 finale of the Western TV drama, 'Yellowstone' and dedicated an entire episode to her because most viewers believed in error that she was an on-screen character. Afterwards, there was a heightened interest in her as people wanted to know more about her as well as the circumstances surrounding her death.
Here is what we know about Melanie Olmstead, the woman that has left a lasting impression on her friends and colleagues. Scroll down to find out more.
Facts about Melanie Olmstead
1. Melanie Olmstead was an adopted child
Melanie Olmstead was born in the Salt Lake City Utah on November 15, 1968. She is the adopted daughter of a former military vet, Reid Howard and his wife Janet Corbridge. Her biological parents are not known to date.
Her adoptive Mum died in 1979 and her father remarried. She was then left in the care of Reid Howard and his second wife, Loa Rose Hanson, but Howard later passed away in 2016.
2. She worked as a driver and location assistant
Melanie began to work in the movie industry since 2000 and is fondly remembered for her zeal and commitment to her job. Her impact was felt in the transportation and location division of Hollywood where she was a part of several productions. A fact check on IMBD revealed that she was the location driver for John Carter, Good Joe Bell, Frozen, Hereditary, Point Break, Wind River, Wild Horses, Darling Companion and Jackie and Ryan. She was also part of the TV series, 'Andy Mack', and 'Snatchers' as well as the movie 'Primary Suspect', but she is mostly remembered as a crew member of 'Yellowstone', which was filmed in Utah and Montana because the producers acknowledged her in the season 2 finale of the show.
3. Melanie Olmstead was married
Melanie Olmstead was a married woman before her untimely death. She exchanged marital vows with Annalise Ford in 2015 after dating for some time. She lived with her husband in Utah before her demise. However, the marriage was short-lived because of her death in 2019. They had only been married for four years before the unfortunate incidence.
4. Melanie Olmstead was an animal lover
During her lifetime, Melanie Olmstead was passionate about animals. A true equestrian, she had a horse, Mahogany which she adored. She celebrated its 37th birthday on Facebook on June 12, 2018, and it happened to be the last public post she made before her death. It reads, “My love affair with horses started about the time I learned to walk, but I didn’t get my first ‘just mine’ horse until I was an adult," She wrote, "This beautiful, amazing girl has been with me since college and recently celebrated her 37th birthday — for my non-horsey friends, that’s over 100 in human years—and she’s still doing great! Happy birthday, Mahogany, and thanks for being my oldest friend.” It was gathered from her friend's account on Facebook, that Mahogany passed away at about a month after her owner's death. She was aged 39.
Because of her unique love for horses, her friends organized a horse ride on June 29th in her honor and the next day, they came together for a celebration of life in her hometown.
5. Melanie Olmstead was a devout activist
Aside from her love for animals, Melanie Olmstead lent her voice in support of civil causes around her local community. She was passionate about Climate change reforms, stricter gun control, economic and social equality. She also advocated for the observation of human rights and the preservation of the natural environment of her town.
She pursued her goals vigorously and has spearheaded many petitions entreating the relevant authorities to take action. Moreover, she took after her adoptive father in her sense of humor and vivacity and was unafraid to say her mind according to her friends.
6. What to know about her death
Family, friends and Nollywood colleagues mourned the passing of Melanie Olmstead on May 25, 2019, in Salt Lake City Utah. They held a memorial to honor her on July 30th in Utah, after organizing a horse ride the previous day.
Her death is a mystery that is yet to be solved although there are unfounded claims that she committed suicide. But for now, the cause of her death is yet to be determined. However, the fact remains that she left a deep void in the heart of those who truly knew her. They paid homage to her with glowing tributes on social media. A friend wrote “I’m so sorry for all the people who were not lucky enough to cross Mel’s path. Rarely have I met a woman who could equal her integrity.” A friend from High school also wrote “My memories of Mel are of a brilliant, funny and slightly twisted woman of character. I have held her in my heart for over 30 years.”
Apart from her friends, her loss was also felt in Yellowstone which made her coworkers dedicate the season finale to her. She is sorely missed by her family, friends and colleagues in Hollywood.
7. No Pictures of her
There are scarcely any photos of Olmstead on Facebook which seemed to be her only know social media outlet. As mentioned earlier, her last post was that of her horse Mahogany whom she adored, and even her profile is also that of a horse, which is an expression of her love for the animal.