Musician Mike Schank of ‘American Movie’ fame dies at 56 – FOX13 News Memphis

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MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Wisconsin is mourning the loss of an unlikely favorite son.

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Musician Mike Schank, best known for his role as right-hand man in the award-winning documentary film “American Movie,” died Thursday at age 56 after a months-long battle with cancer, his friend Jackie Bogenberger confirmed to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“It spread rapidly all over his body within weeks, affecting almost everything but his brain,” Bogenberger told the newspaper.

“One of the last things Mike said to me was, ‘Hey Jackie, I feel really bad for kids who have cancer. They should never have to do this,'” he added.

“American Movie,” which won Best Documentary at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival, chronicled filmmaker Mark Borchart’s efforts to make a low-budget horror film “Coven” with the unyielding help of his childhood friend Schank.

Schank became Borchart’s “most trusted crew member” throughout filming, scored the film, and “provided one of cinema’s most memorable shoutouts”, Rolling Stone reported.

Schank also defended his new sobriety in the documentary and announced via Twitter in August that he had been sober for 27 years.

The documentary performance also helped Schank land a small role in the 2001 film “Storytelling” and a voice cameo on “Family Guy,” Rolling Stone reported.

Friends, family members and others paid their respects on Twitter.

‘Lord of the Rings’ star Elijah Wood called Schank a “legend”, while comedian Patton Oswalt tweeted a simple “RIP”.

According to the Journal Sentinel, a celebration of life will be held at the Milwaukee Alano Club at noon on November 12.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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