Gaspard Ulliel dead at 37 – Marvel's Moon Knight actor suddenly passes away as cause of death revealed as ski accident

FRENCH actor Gaspard Ulliel, who plays the leading role in a new Marvel TV series has died aged 37 after a fatal skiing accident, his family confirmed yesterday.

Ulliel was already in the top rank of French actors, and gained international attention for his performance as the famous cannibal in "Hannibal Rising" in 2007.

He also had a leading role as Midnight Man in the new Marvel TV series "Moon Knight" starring Oscar Isaac, which launches on Disney+ in March.

His family confirmed the death — which followed a skiing accident in southeast France on Tuesday — in a statement given to AFP by his agent.

A spokesperson from the ski station said another skier crashed into Ulliel at the meeting of two slopes. He was then airlifted to a hospital in Grenoble where he sadly died on Wednesday, the agent said.

Read our Gaspard Ulliel live blog below for the latest updates..

  • Milica Cosic

    Cannes Film Festival director pays heartwarming tribute

    Thierry Fremaux, director of the Cannes Film Festival said: "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".

    He continued to say: "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."

  • Milica Cosic

    Gaspard's partner shared video of their son skiing days before actors passing

    THE wife of actor Gaspard Ulliel, Gaelle Pietri, shared a touching video of their son skiing just days before her husband was killed on the slopes.

    A week ago today Gaelle shared a video on Instagram of their son skiing to celebrate his sixth birthday.

  • Milica Cosic

    Who is Gaspard Ulliel's partner Gaëlle Piétri?

    Gaëlle Piétri was discovered as a model during a competition in Corsica and went to Paris, according to Gala.fr. 

    In 2004, she obtained a deal with Elite International and began modeling for companies like Garnier. 

    Due to her frequent travel, she was unable to commit herself entirely to her studies, so she dropped out and began modeling full-time. 

    She began to be featured in magazine fashion shoots or television advertisements for brands like Dim, Diesel, Carte Noire coffee, and Bourjois mascara. 

    She has managed to maintain a modeling career for over 15 years, which is unusual in such a fleeting industry.

  • Milica Cosic

    Pierre Niney pays tribute

    Pierre Niney, who played the same part in the other 2014 French biopic about the designer, Yves Saint Laurent, and beat Ulliel to that year’s César, posted that he was heartbroken at the news.

    "Broken heart. Gaspard was benevolence and kindness. Beauty and talent."

    "Thoughts to his family," he added.

  • Milica Cosic

    Some films Ulliel starred in

    After some television work, Ulliel had a small role in 2001’s Brotherhood of the Wolf, alongside Vincent Cassel and Monica Bellucci.

    Acclaimed work in French films Summer Things and Strayed then led to the romantic lead in Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s A Very Long Engagement, opposite Audrey Tautou. The performance saw him win a Cesar for most promising actor.

  • Milica Cosic

    Gaspard's major role in 2002

    Gaspard Ulliel was just 11 when he started working on screen after a friend of his mother suggested he join her acting agency. 

    His first major role came in 2002 when he starred alongside Charlotte Rampling in Summer Things, for which he won Most Promising Actor at the Lumieres Awards and was nominated for a Cesar.

    One of his directors described him as something of an enigma.

    "He's a strange boy, difficult to penetrate," said Rodolphe Marconi, who directed him in one of his early films, The Last Day.

  • Milica Cosic

    'Deeply saddened'

    A Disney spokesman told Variety: "We are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of our friend and colleague Gaspard Ulliel. 

    "Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this time."

  • Milica Cosic

    Albertville prosecutor's statement

    Albertville prosecutor Anne Gaches said Mr Ulliel died at 4pm on Wednesday, after attempts were made to save him in the University Hospital in Grenoble failed.

    Ms Gaches said in a statement: "Yesterday, January 18, 2022, at 4 p.m., in Montvalezan, on the ski area of ​​the resort of La Rosière located in the Haute Tarentaise Massif, Mr. Gaspard Ulliel collided with another skier on the top of the blue run called Tetras.

    "He had just branched off to the left, presumably to join his friends who were on the Gellinotte run.

    "A judicial investigation was immediately entrusted to investigators from the CRS (Republican Security Company), Albertville detachment, by the Albertville prosecution."

    "It appears from the first testimonies and the observations made on the spot that the two skiers both fell to the ground," Mr Gaches continued. 

  • Milica Cosic

    Gaspard gained international attention

    Ulliel starred as the young Hannibal Lecter in 2007's Hannibal Rising, and he gained international attention for his portrayal.

    The father-of-one, who was also the face of the Chanel men's fragrance Bleu de Chanel.

    Ulliel portrayed the young Hannibal Lecter in 2007's Hannibal RisingCredit: Weinstein Company
  • Milica Cosic

    'Gaspard grew up with cinema' 

    French Prime Minister Jean Castex led tributes to Ulliel following the star's death.

    He said: "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 now see his most beautiful interpretations and meet this certain look. We are losing a French actor."

  • Milica Cosic

    'Full of charm and energy'

    French finance minister Bruno Le Maire tweeted about the passing of Gaspard, writing: "French cinema is losing a huge talent, full of charm and energy".

  • Milica Cosic

    Gaspard starred in a biopic about French designer YSL

    Saint Laurent, one of two 2014 biopics about French designer Yves Saint Laurent, was one of the films in competition for the top prize at that year's Cannes Film Festival.

    Ulliel was praised for his performance but lost out at the Cesars to Pierre Niney – star of the rival film, titled Yves Saint Laurent.

    In a 2014 interview with IndieWire, Ulliel spoke about the differences between the two films.

    "I waited until we finished our shooting to discover the other film," he said. "I remember arriving at the theatre very nervous, and very quickly felt relieved when I realised quickly how different they were. They're two different visions, two films that never really meet.

    "So in a way, it's legitimate for both films to exist. Maybe it's the best way to celebrate the diversity of such an iconic man as Saint Laurent.

    "I think Pierre Niney did a great job and I was relieved that he was proposing something quite different from what I decided to do."

  • Milica Cosic

    Many of many talents

    As well as being a movie star, Ulliel also appeared as a model.

    As the face of the Bleu de Chanel fragrance, he was directed by Martin Scorsese for a 2010 television advertisement.

  • Milica Cosic

    Critic Caspar Salmon pays tribute

    Writer and critic Caspar Salmon paid tribute to Gaspard Ulliel.

    He called him: "an actor of considerable magnetism, talent and beauty, who had already carved out an impressive and varied career".

  • Milica Cosic

    Gaspard made his screen debut aged just 11

    Ulliel was born just outside Paris on November 25, 1984, and picked up a small scar from a dog bite as a child. He said it helped him because it looked like a dimple.

    He was just 11 when he started working on screen and picked up two César newcomer nominations in 2003 and 2004 before finally winning the following year.

    There were also some major modelling gigs, including a contract as the face of a Chanel aftershave.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Tragedy conjures up memories of Michael Schumacher’s accident

    The accident conjured up memories of when Formula One great Michael Schumacher hit his head in a ski accident in 2013 in the French ski resort of Meribel, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from where Ulliel was skiing.

    Both were treated at Grenoble University Hospital.

    Schumacher, 53, has not been seen in public in eight years, and little has been released about his physical and mental condition.

    The German auto racing legend suffered serious head injuries when he fell and hit the right side of his head on a rock off the side of a demarcated slope.

    He was skiing with his teenage son while on a family vacation in the Alps.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Gaspard made his screen debut aged just 11

    Ulliel was born just outside Paris on November 25, 1984, and picked up a small scar from a dog bite as a child. He said it helped him because it looked like a dimple.

    He was just 11 when he started working on screen and picked up two César newcomer nominations in 2003 and 2004 before finally winning the following year.

    There were also some major modelling gigs, including a contract as the face of a Chanel aftershave.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Tragedy on the slopes

    The father-of-one was also in the upcoming Marvel series Moon Knight and he was the face of the Chanel men’s fragrance Bleu de Chanel.

    The first trailer for Moon Knight was only released on Tuesday and will debut on the Disney Plus streaming service on March 30. 

    Ulliel won a Cesar – the French equivalent of an Oscar – for best actor in 2017 for It's Only the End of the World in which he starred alongside Marion Cotillard and Lea Seydoux.

    He had already taken home a Cesar in 2004 for most promising actor after appearing in the World War One drama A Very Long Engagement alongside Audrey Tautou.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Statement from Albertville prosecutor

    In a statement, Albertville prosecutor Anne Gaches said: "Gaspard Ulliel collided with another skier on the top of the blue run called Tetras.

    "He had just branched off to the left, presumably to join his friends who were on the Gellinotte run."

    Witnesses said the two skiers "both fell to the ground".

    "When help arrived, Gaspard Ulliel was motionless, unconscious in the snow. The other skier was unharmed," she said.

  • Joseph Gamp

    French director Xavier Dolan pays tribute to Gaspard Ulliel

    French director Xavier Dolan, who had previously worked with Gaspard, posted a tribute to his pal in French.

    Translated, it reads: "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."

  • Joseph Gamp

    Cannes festival director pays tribute

    Thierry Fremaux, the director of the Cannes Film Festival said in a statement: “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.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Screenwriter Ben Trebilcook pays tribute

    Screenwriter Ben Trebilcook also wrote: “Sad to hear Gaspard Ulliel has tragically died in a skiing accident.

    "A hugely talented performer.

    "Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Alexandra Lamy pays tribute

    Alexandra Lamy, the French actor of “No Second Chance,” paid tribute on Twitter.

    He said: “A heavy heart. From you I keep only these moments of joy, we laugh so much.

    "You embodied beauty, kindness, talent, elegance, we will miss you so much.

    "All my support to your family and loved ones!”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Gaspard made a name for himself in movie Hannibal Rising

    Ulliel was already in the top rank of French actors, and gained international attention for his performance as the famous cannibal in “Hannibal Rising” in 2007.

    He also had a leading role as Midnight Man in the new Marvel TV series “Moon Knight” starring Oscar Isaac, which launches on Disney+ in March.

  • Joseph Gamp

    More on Gaspard Ulliel's success

    French actor Gaspard Ulliel, known for appearing in Chanel perfume ads as well as film and television roles, died Wednesday after a skiing accident in the Alps, local authorities said. He was 37.

    Ulliel portrayed the young Hannibal Lecter in 2007's Hannibal Rising and fashion mogul Yves Saint Laurent in the 2014 biopic Saint Laurent.

    He is also in the upcoming Marvel series Moon Knight, and was the advertising face of the Chanel men's fragrance Bleu de Chanel.

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