At the young age of 37, Marvel actor Gaspard Ulliel has passed away in a tragic ski accident. The star of the upcoming “Moon Knight” TV series was beloved by many, and tons of tributes have been taking over the internet in his honor.
You may also recognize Ulliel from being the face of Chanel’s Bleu de Chanel fragrance. After a collision in the Savoie area of the French Alps, the actor was flown to a hospital in Grenoble via helicopter. After sustaining a fatal head injury from colliding with another skier on blue slope Tetras, he passed away. The other skier survived mostly unharmed. While a police investigation is currently being carried out, mountain police officials explain that they had been doing up to six rescues a day ever since the snow in the area hardened.
The star was loved by many, including his model and singer girlfriend Gaëlle Piétri and their six-year-old son. Just a week before his death, the couple celebrated their son’s birthday together, commemorating the moment with an Instagram post of the child skiing.
A child of parents that worked in the fashion industry, Gaspard Ulliel first rose to acting fame playing Manech in “A Very Long Engagement” with co-star Audrey Tatou. The next year, he won a Cesar for the role. A decade later, he won yet another Cesar, this time for best actor, for his role in the film “It’s the End of the World”. In 2007, we saw him as a young “Hannibal Lector” and convincing sociopath in “Hannibal Rising.” The director of “Hannibal Rising”, Peter Webber, tweeted, “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.”
The tributes pouring in from all corners of the globe, including a heartfelt one from Jean Castex, the Prime Minister of France, who wrote, “Gaspard Ulliel grew up with cinema and cinema grew with him. They loved each other madly. It is with a heavy heart that we will no longer see his most beautiful interpretations.”
Xavier Dolan, who directed him in past film collaborations, wrote on Instagram: “It’s unbelievable, absurd, and so painful to even think of writing these words. Your discreet laugher, your caring gaze. Your scar. Your talent. Your listening skill. Your whispers, your kindness. All these personality traits that emanated from a shining softness. Your whole being transformed my life, a being that loved deeply and that I will always love. I can’t say anything more. I feel drained, shaken by your (death).”
Martin Scorsese, who directed Gaspard in an ad for the Bleu cologne, told IndieWire that he was impressed by the French actor’s “dedication and his intelligence.” We heard from Thierry Fremeaux, the Cannes Film Festival director, who expressed his condolences, calling Ulliel a pro at selecting the right roles, and a major part of the new generation shaping the future of French cinema.
The cultural minister of France, Roselyne Bachelot, was featured on the news and said she was “devastated” by the “unfair’ death of the young actor, who passed at “the peak of his career.” Other celebrities, politicians, and loved ones responded with a simple picture tribute to the handsome actor.
It’s no doubt that French cinema is losing an iconic and talented actor that was just at the beginning of his career. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t have. Chance to see his potential as a filmmaker. Everyone seems to agree that he was incredibly bright, but also modest about his talents, with a kind personality. It’s safe to say that he will be sorely missed by many. “Moon Knight” is set to hit Disney+ on March 30th — do yourself a favor and honor this beautiful and enigmatic man with a watch.