PARIS (AFP): French actor Gaspard Ulliel, who played a young Hannibal Lecter and Yves Saint Laurent, died on Wednesday at the age of 37 following a skiing accident, his family said.
One of the most striking faces of his generation, Ulliel was already in the top rank of French actors.
He gained international attention for his performance as the famous cannibal in “Hannibal Rising” in 2007.
He also had a leading role in the new Marvel TV series “Moon Knight” launching on Disney+ in March.
His family confirmed the death — which followed a skiing accident on Tuesday — in a statement given to AFP by his agent.
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 2005 for most promising actor after appearing in the World War I drama “A Very Long Engagement” alongside Audrey Tautou.
He starred in “Saint Laurent”, one of two biopics about the legendary designer to be released in 2014, though he lost out at the Cesars to the star of the rival film, Pierre Niney.
DIFFICULT TO PENETRATE
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 Cesar 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.
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”.
“He surely has a crack, the day it opens, it will hurt.”