Zack Estrin, Writer-Producer Known for ‘Prison Break’ and ‘Lost in Space,’ Dies at 51

Zack Estrin, the respected writer-producer and showrunner known for his work on Fox’s “Prison Break” and Netflix’s recent revival of “Lost in Space,” died Sept. 23 in Hermosa Beach, Calif. He was 51.

Estrin’s death was confirmed Sunday by his longtime talent agency, WME. Estrin was remembered by friends and family as a versatile writer and producer who was a generous mentor to others.

“Zack Estrin was our everything,” Estrin’s family said in a statement. “The best husband, father, son and friend. 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.”

WME president Ari Greenburg added, “Zack was our client for nearly 25 years. He had a tremendously successful career and mentored so many writers. We are so proud of all his accomplishments and feel blessed to have called him a friend.”

Born in California, Estrin was raised in Brooklyn. He attended University of Southern California and found his way into film production, working on such titles as “Stranger Than Fiction” and “O.” He segued into TV as a producer amid the late 1990s boom on such drama series as WB Network’s “Charmed” and “Dawson’s Creek” and Fox’s short-lived “Tru Calling.”

From there, he advanced to writing and producing roles on Fox’s big-budget actioner “Prison Break.” In recent years he delivered three fantasy dramas for ABC, “The Whispers” (2014-15), “The River” (2011-12) and “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” (2013-14). Estrin was particularly proud of the work that he led as showrunner and executive producer on the “Lost in Space” reboot that ran three seasons from 2018 to 2021.

Estrin’s survivoros include his wife, Kari Estrin and daughters, Charlotte and Chloe. He is also survived by his parents, Patricia and Jonathan Estrin, sister Amelia Burstyn, stepbrother Dylan Arrants and stepsisters Julie List and Laura Humphrey.

In lieu of flowers, Estrin’s family requests donations be made to the the Zack Estrin USC Scholarship Fund, care of PNG LLC, 11400 West Olympic Blvd., Suite 590, Los Angeles, CA 90064

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