Marc Maron mourns partner Lynn Shelton in emotional podcast

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FILE - In this Feb. 8, 2020 file photo, Marc Maron, left, and Lynn Shelton arrive at the 35th Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, Calif. Maron has mourned the sudden death of Shelton, his partner and frequent collaborator, in a new episode of his podcast Monday. Shelton died early Saturday morning at age 54 after a brief illness. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

LOS ANGELES – Marc Maron’s voice quivered from the first words he uttered. Just days after the sudden death of his partner Lynn Shelton, Maron spoke candidly Monday to his vast podcast audience about his grief.

“I don’t even know if I should be out in public talking,” Maron said. “But this is what I do and this is where I’m at and there’s no right or wrong with grief.”

Shelton, the beloved director of humane and poignant independent films like “Laggies” and “Your Sister’s Sister,” died early Saturday morning at age 54.

“She was my partner. She was my girlfriend. She was my friend and I loved her. I loved her a lot. And she loved me and I knew that,” Maron said. “We were happy.”

The actor-comedian talked on a previous episode about Shelton being sick and testing negative for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. He said they thought it was strep throat, but when her fever hadn’t subsided, they planned to go in for more tests Friday. Before they could do that, however, she collapsed early Friday morning. Maron said the last time he saw her alive was when the emergency responders took her away.

“Then over the course of the day there was never any good news,” he said.

The episode begins and ends with Maron’s reflections on Shelton. But the bulk of it is a re-broadcast of his August 2015 interview with her, which has the poignant distinction of being the first time they met.

“She was married. I was with somebody. But at this point, when I had this conversation, it was undeniable that we connected,” he said.

Shelton and Maron went on to collaborate frequently and in the past year became a couple. She directed him in episodes of “Maron” and “GLOW,” two of his comedy specials (“Marc Maron: Too Real” and “Marc Maron: End Time Fun”) and the 2019 feature “Sword of Trust.” They were working on a script together too — a “domestic dramedy” that they’d been tinkering with for years.

“We really right now just have to write the second part of the last act,” he said in an interview with IndieWire published last week. “We’re close, but I can’t explain to you the resentment and contempt I have for this thing hanging over my head.”

The two were quarantining together in Los Angeles, writing and watching movies.

Maron was effusive on his podcast about her work (“a determined artist who just needed to put her expression out in the world”) her innate charisma, her effect on people (“no one’s got anything bad to say about Lynn Shelton”) and her effect on him (“I was definitely a better person when I was engaged with her”).

“If there’s anything she taught me, really, is that people do love me, she loved me, and there’s nothing I can do about that,” he said.

The admiration went both ways. Just last year, Shelton told The Associated Press that Maron was, “one of the most natural actors” she knew. His turn in “Sword of Trust,” she said, was one of her “favorite performances by anyone in anything.”