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French actor Gaspard Ulliel dies at 37 after skiing accident

The actor collided with another skier at an intersection between two slopes and suffered a serious brain trauma.
"Sibyl" Red Carpet - The 72nd Annual Cannes Film Festival
Gaspard Ulliel was one of France's best known actors and worked with critically acclaimed filmmakers in France and abroad. He starred in the upcoming Marvel series "Moon Knight."Dominique Charriau / WireImage
/ Source: Reuters

French actor Gaspard Ulliel ("It's Only the End of the World"), who stars in Marvel's upcoming "Moon Knight" series, has died following a ski accident in the Alps on Wednesday, according to news agency AFP. He was 37.

The Cesar-winning actor was skiing in the Savoie region when he collided with another skier at an intersection between two slopes and suffered a serious brain trauma. He was transported by helicopter at a hospital in Grenoble. Local authorities have opened an investigation into the accident, according the AFP.

Ulliel was one of France’s best known actors and worked with critically acclaimed filmmakers in Europe and abroad. He began acting at the age of 12 with an uncredited role in the French TV movie “Une Femme En Blanc” (“A Woman in White”). In 2007, he took on his first major English-speaking role in Peter Webber’s “Hannibal Rising.”

He delivered a powerful performance as the famous French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent in Bertrand Bonello’s “Saint Laurent,” which competed at Cannes. Ulliel, who was highly selective about the roles he chose, also starred in Xavier Dolan’s “It’s Only the End of The World” alongside Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux and Vincent Cassel; Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s “A Very Long Engagement”; as well as Bertrand Tavernier’s “La Princesse de Montpensier.” All three films also competed at Cannes.

Ulliel worked with a few promising filmmakers, including Stéphanie Di Giusto who directed him in “The Dancer” with Lily Rose-Depp. Underscoring his international profile, Ulliel was cast as Midnight Man in Marvel’s highly anticipated “Moon Knight.” The actor had a flurry of projects and was currently shooting a recurrent role in a crime thriller mini-series directed by Xavier Giannoli (“Lost Illusions”) for Canal Plus.

Webber paid homage to the actor on Twitter, saying “Shocked and saddened to hear about the death of Gaspard Ulliel at such a young age in a skiing accident. I have such fond memories of working with him all those years ago on Hannibal Rising. Rest in peace, dear friend.”

“Gaspard belonged to this new generation of actors who were making tomorrow’s French cinema. He knew how to select his roles and shaped his career which filled every promise,” said Thierry Fremaux, the director of the Cannes Film Festival. “Each appearance on the red carpet, from ‘La Princesse de Montpensier’ to ‘It’s Only The End of the World’ illustrated his presence, both discreet and full of kindness. He was equally brilliant and talented. He gave a lot and we’ll always remember him.”

The young actor, who was known to be elegant and friendly, won a flurry of laurels through his career including two Cesar awards, in 2005 with ” A Very Long Engagement” and in 2017 with “It’s Only The End of The World.” Ulliel was also a sought-after model: He was the face of the Chanel fragrance Bleu de Chanel and starred in a commercial directed by Martin Scorsese for the brand.

Contacted by Variety, the actor’s talent agent declined to comment. Ulliel is survived by his 6 year-old son Orso and his girlfriend Gaelle Petri, a French model and singer. The funeral service will be held Thursday in Paris.