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Ben Best

September 11, 1974 ~ September 10, 2021 (age 46)



Sylva - Benjamin Terrell “Ben” Best, age 46, died unexpectedly at his home in Sylva, NC on Friday, Sept 10, 2021.

He was born on September 11, 1974, in Lexington County, SC to Courtney Drury and Fred Benjamin Best.

Though born in SC, Ben was a High Pointer, through and through, attending Quaker School, IHM and High Point Central High School.   He attended UNC-G and graduated from the NC School of the Arts (now UNCSA) Film School in 1999 with a BA degree in Screenwriting.

Ben’s filmmaking skills were honed on Danbury Court where he convinced his grade school and middle school friends to act out his hilarious dramas while he filmed them.  Fast forward to post film school, he and his writing buddies first found success with the film The Foot Fist Way, which was a Midnight Sundance favorite.  Ben was co-creator of the HBO show Eastbound and Down, along with his film school friends, Danny McBride and Jody Hill, and co-writer of the early episodes.  His film acting credits include Superbad, One Night in Vegas, Observe and Report, and Land of the Lost.  He cowrote the 2011 comedy, Your Highness. 

Making music was right up there on Ben’s list.  His first band in high school was the Chris Adams Band and later with his friends he formed Pyramid, a Charlotte based band, and the group has continued to get together for the last 25 years.  Some might say music was his first love.  He and his friends and bandmates bonded over music.  Ben was constantly searching for new sounds. His friends say, “Ben’s unique style was fearlessly vibrant and wholly his own.  Whether on guitar, piano, mandolin or violin bow, his gift for crafting meaningful arrangements around moving words and imagery was inspiring and touched many”.

This funny sweet loving man will be remembered by so many.  Ben was an amazing, kind, generous and hilarious human being.  His best friend, Scott Nurkin, says he had the most annoying quality of being the funniest guy in the room.  He was a good son, a loving brother, and the most fun uncle around, and a loyal friend.  We all want more time with him and we know he will live on through legendary stories and laughter. 

In 2014, Ben took on his best and most creative role, as stay-at-home Dad, when his daughter Harper was born.  Nothing eclipsed his love for his daughter.

He will be dearly missed by his beloved daughter, Harper Courtney Best, and her mother, Carrie Saunders; his parents, Fred and Courtney; his sister Mason Best Ward (Jay), nephews Jack and Dru Ward; his aunts, Anne Rector (Tim Allen) and Kathy Rozier; Ben’s cousins Will Strait (Teresa) and Samantha Rich (Nate) and their children, Sidney and Jude Strait and Vivian and Maxwell Rich;  Ben’s special Aunt, Jean Offutt and her family, Bill Offutt (Carolyn), Jean Lewis (Todd), Barbara Mosby (Bob), Bob Offutt (Cris), and their children, Bill and Carolyn Offutt and Julia Mosby Evanko; Carrie’s mother, Jenny “Lady” Saunders , and Carrie’s sisters,  Nikki Alvarez (David), Christy Hudson (Marshall), Allison Broughton (Matt) and their children, Luci and Isla Alvarez, Spencer, Everett and Georgia Hudson, and Asher and Dax Broughton.

The family will celebrate Ben’s life at a private memorial service at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in honor of Ben’s life to UNCSA, Office of Advancement, 1533 South Main St., Winston-Salem, NC 27127-2738 or to the charity of one’s choice.


A service summary is not available


UNC School of the Arts
1533 South Main St., Winston-Salem NC 27127-2738

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