If you’ve been binge-watching Yellowstone on Paramount Network recently, you may have been intrigued by the title card at the end of Season 2 honouring Melanie Olmstead. We’ve got you covered if you’re trying to place an unknown member of the cast or crew.
After the season 2 finale of Yellowstone aired, it was only natural that many viewers would want to know more about this mysterious character. Indeed, Melanie Olmstead was involved in Yellowstone as a site and transportation leader.
She has been working as a driver and site assistant on film and TV sets since the year 2000, and her resume includes credits like Hereditary, Good Joe Bell, Point Break, John Carter, 12 Dogs of Christmas: Great Puppy Rescue, Jackie & Ryan, Wind River, Snatchers, Andi Mack, and many more. It’s nice to see the Yellowstone crew honouring her, as she is a member of one of the more underrated areas of TV production.
About Melanie Olmstead
With 20 years of experience in the industry, Melanie (a location lead) was undoubtedly one of the few people who were fully capable of the incredibly demanding background in the production of Hollywood films and television series.
Melanie Olmstead, who was raised by her adoptive parents, Janet Corbridge and Reid Howard, was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and has spent most of her life there. The fact that the show was shot in Melanie’s hometown of Salt Lake City is not lost on her; as a lifelong resident of the area and a dedicated animal lover, she found it immensely satisfying to play a part in the production of Yellowstone.
In Yellowstone, Kevin Costner plays John Dutton; Wes Bentley plays Jamie Dutton; Kelly Reilly plays Beth Dutton; Luke Grimes plays Kayce Dutton; Cole Hauser plays Rip Wheeler; and Kelsey Asbille plays Monica. However, the film was unable to be shot in a location that was satisfactory to the cast and crew due to logistical issues. That’s why a place like Salt Lake City is required. That was a smart move on the part of the show, as Melanie Olmstead had much prior knowledge of Utah.
She established a solid friendship with the other actors and crew members on set. Their heartfelt devotion to her demonstrates this. For the first time, the words “In memory of Melanie Olmstead, 1968–2019” appeared in the episode titled Sins of the Father.
What Happened To Melanie Olmstead?
Melanie lost her two-year struggle with cancer and died at age 50 (the official cause of her death). She passed away suddenly at her Salt Lake City home, surrounded by her family and her wife, Annalise Ford, in anticipation of the second season of Yellowstone.
All of the actors and staff members on the Yellowstone set have been profoundly affected by her legacy and her presence. Melanie’s personal connection to Utah and her love of animals, especially wild horses, likely influenced how she portrayed the state’s people on the show and how she set up the logistics of travelling around the state.
Melanie had posted a picture of her horse Mahogany on her Facebook page along with a lengthy description of her fondness for equines: “I fell in love with horses around the time I could walk, but it wasn’t until I was an adult that I got one that was all mine. This stunningly gorgeous girl has been with me since I was a student, and she just turned 37 years old. For my non-horsey pals, that’s the equivalent of being over 100 years old.
It’s great to see that Yellowstone is willing to demonstrate a strong sense of teamwork and respect for the work that goes into bringing a production to life, especially in light of the current trend in Hollywood to ignore or downplay the influence of production teams or behind-the-scenes crew members both on film sets and in public.
On July 30, those who knew and loved Melanie Olmstead gathered to honour her life. The day before, they rode horses in tribute to their late companion. Melanie Olmstead’s party was fantastic! One attendee described the gathering as “a gathering of horsewomen, writers, and artists from all around the country.” “The pain in my heart hasn’t gone away.”
Melanie Olmstead’s death and life will forever be remembered by Yellowstone’s devoted audience and dedicated cast and crew.
Season 5 of Yellowstone will likely premiere in the latter half of 2022.