‘Yellowstone’: Who Is Melanie Olmstead?


If you watched the Season 2 finale of Yellowstone on the Paramount Network, then you saw that the episode was dedicated to the memory of Melanie Olmstead. Who was she? Olmstead was deeply loved by her friends and family. She worked in TV and film in Utah, and her loved ones miss her greatly. She touched many lives.

Melanie Olmstead Worked for Film & TV Productions in Utah

Melanie Olmstead worked in location management and transportation for a number of Hollywood films, and she lived in Utah. According to her IMDb, Olmstead died in Salt Lake City, Utah on May 25, 2019. Yellowstone is filmed in Utah and Montana. (Note: an earlier version of this story had photos of Olmstead. Heavy has taken those photos down to honor a request from Olmstead’s family.)

According to IMDB, Olmstead worked as a driver for Good Joe Bell (which won’t air until 2020), Hereditary, Snatchers (eight episodes), Andi Mack (12 episodes), Wind River, Wild Horses, Point Break, Jackie & Ryan, 12 Dogs of Christmas: Great Puppy Rescue, John Carter, Darling Companion, Frozen, and Benji: Off the Leash!  She also worked as a location assistant for the 2000 film Primary Suspect. 

Olmstead Love Horses. Her Friends & Family Adored Her & Honored Her Memory with a Horse Ride.

There was far more to Melanie Olmstead than is captured on her IMDb profile. Her last public post on her Facebook profile shows a woman who loved horses just as much as the characters on Yellowstone loved their horses. On June 12, 2018, she wrote: “My love affair with horses started about the time I learned to walk, but I didn’t get my first ‘just mine’ horse until I was an adult. This beautiful, amazing girl has been with me since college and recently celebrated her 37th birthday—for my non-horsey friends, that’s over 100 in human years—and she’s still doing great! Happy birthday, Mahogany, and thanks for being my oldest friend.”

According to posts from friends, her beloved horse passed away just a little over a month after Olmstead died. But Olmstead’s friends surrounded her horse with love in her last moments, honoring their beloved friend.

In fact, it is Olmstead’s friends who are such a strong testament to Olmstead and the life she led. On June 30 they held a celebration of life in her honor in Salt Lake City, and had a horse ride in her honor the day before.


A friend wrote about the event: “Celebration of life for Melanie Olmstead was amazing! Horsewomen, Writers, Artists, Theater, Film, cast and crew peeps! Some I have known for 30 years! What beautiful souls! My Salt Lake family! Ride on, our beautiful Melanie Olmstead! ?.” 

A friend from high school wrote about Mel on Facebook and said: “My memories of Mel are of a brilliant, funny and slightly twisted woman of character. I have held her in my heart for over 30 years.”

Another friend commented about Mel’s generosity and how they still think about her to this day.

Another wrote: ” I remember the first time I ever saw Melanie’s sweet face …  back in the 90s. And every time thereafter I marveled at her calm presence. Such loss.”

And another friend wrote: “I’m so sorry for all the people who were lucky enough to cross Mel’s path. Rarely have I met a woman who could equal her integrity.”

Melanie Olmstead’s family told Heavy that anyone wanting to make a donation in Olmstead’s memory might want to consider an animal rescue that she loved. Olmstead loved the Best Friends Animal Society, and she also loved a greyhound rescue group based out of Kanab, Utah called Greyhound Gang. You can donate to Best Friends Animal society here. You can donate to Greyhound Gang here and learn more about them here.

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