Russell Wolfe, one of the producers and actors of last year’s smash hit, God’s Not Dead, has died at the age of 50. According to Variety, Wolfe passed away on May 27 in Scottsdale, Arizona, after a battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Russell Wolfe didn’t keep his struggle a secret. Earlier this year, the God’s Not Dead Facebook page released a video that featured Wolfe explaining how he was diagnosed with the disease in 2013. A Crowdfund page was set up for donations to be made to financially help Wolfe with treatments. At the time of Wolfe’s death, $113,567 was raised of the $500,000 goal.
Wolfe was also one of the many who participated in last year’s viral sensation, the Ice Bucket Challenge. After he completed the challenge, he called out his partners, David A.R. White and Mike Scott, as well as God’s Not Dead star Kevin Sorbo.
Though he was diagnosed with ALS, Russell Wolfe didn’t let that keep him from working. Last year, his Pure Flix studio released several faith-based films, including the hit God’s Not Dead, which pulled in $60 million at the box office, and the Sean Astin-starring Mom’s Night Out. Wolfe and Astin reteamed for this year’s Do You Believe?, and his studio also released Dancer and the Dame, which starred Billy Gardell. Russell Wolfe was also working on a sequel to God’s Not Dead, which is planned to be released in 2016.
Pure Flix co-founder David A.R. White released a statement, via the Blaze, in regards to Russell Wolfe’s passing.
“As one of the founding partners of Pure Flix, Russell always represented the vision to make a positive impact in our culture for Christ. He did this consistently through his work, life, and relationships.”
Michael Scott, who also founded Pure Flix with White and Wolfe, also paid tribute to his late partner.
“[Wolfe] was a friend, business partner and truly a blessing to all who ever met him. His legacy will continue to influence the world for Christ through film and television.”
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, while God’s Not Dead was a success with Christians, the film was slammed by movie critics and atheists. But as Russell Wolfe put it, the film was meant to be eye-opening, even for those who are non-believers.
“What the movie does is it silences [and] quiets people down in a dark room — and it takes them to a place that they won’t even let their best friend take them. They’re asked that question, ‘Is there or isn’t there a God?’ and then they need to answer that themselves.”
[Photos: Angela Weiss/Getty Images and Pure Flix via Hollywood Life]