Lena Wertmueller, who wrote and directed some of the best TV shows ever, has died

Amy Wang / HBO via AP

ARLINGTON, Va. — Lena Dunham said it’s “a bit of a bummer” that “the best thing I ever made as a director is also the most female-directed thing I ever made.”

This story has been updated with additional details.

Lena Wertmueller, a filmmaker and one of the first female directors to ever be nominated for an Academy Award, died Tuesday after a battle with cancer. She was 59.

Wertmueller, who worked as a writer for “Girls” and a supervising producer for HBO’s upcoming “Sharp Objects,” is remembered by many for her rise as a young woman working in a male-dominated industry.

Dunham joined “The Daily Show” in 2009 and in Season 3 came across the speech Wertmueller gave to students at the Baltimore Film Festival.

“As women, we’re incredibly vulnerable,” Wertmueller said in an August 2010 speech that Dunham posted to Instagram with the caption, “Lena was one of the nicest, most thoughtful, and truly fierce women I’ve ever worked with.”

She also worked on “Girls” from 2012 to 2016, winning an Emmy Award for a pilot. She also taught at the University of Pennsylvania, where she directed more than a dozen films.

“So sorry to hear of my friend Lena’s passing,” Dunham said in a tweet on Tuesday, writing “I remember her personally, and a little bit professionally. A heartbreaking loss for women everywhere.”

Paul Feig, another “Girls” and “The Mindy Project” producer, called her “one of my favorite people to work with” in a tweet on Tuesday, adding that “she used her voice for good.”

Wertmueller told Entertainment Weekly in 2015 that she had been “operating at our capacity for five years” and that she “is proud of it.”

“This is a middle-class woman who loved her job and wanted to give the best. I owe everything to the mentors I’ve had in my career,” she said.

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