French actor Gaspard Ulliel, best known for playing Hannibal Lecter in “Hannibal Rising,” has died at the age of 37 after a skiing accident in southeastern France.
“Gaspard Ulliel grew up with cinema and cinema grew up with him. They loved each other madly,” French Prime Minister Jean Castex tweeted Wednesday.
“It’s with a heavy heart that we will rewatch his most beautiful performances and catch his unique gaze. We have lost a French actor.”
The accident happened on Tuesday at 4 p.m. local time (10 a.m ET) at the La Rosière ski resort in the Alpine department of Savoie, according to a Wednesday statement from Albertville prosecutor’s office.
After Ulliel left the top of a blue ski run, he collided with another skier and both fell to the ground, the statement said. The other skier didn’t suffer any injuries.
When the emergency team arrived at the scene, Ulliel was lying still in the snow, unconscious, according to the statement.
He was airlifted to the nearby Grenoble University Hospital Center where his death was announced Wednesday afternoon.
A judiciary investigation has been launched with investigators from the Alpes security police.
Ulliel gained acclaim for his portrayal of French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent in the 2014 biopic, “Saint Laurent.” He went on to win a César for Best Actor, France’s equivalent of the Oscar, for his performance in the Xavier Dolan film, “It’s Only the End of the World.”
His next on-screen appearance is set to be in the Marvel Disney+ series “Moon Knight,” scheduled for release in March 2022.
Fellow French actor Jean Dujardin posted an image of Ulliel on Instagram with a caption which read simply “Gaspard” alongside a black heart emoji.
And French minister of culture Rosalyne Bachelot called Ulliel “an exceptional actor” in a tweet published Wednesday.
“Today the world of cinema lost a huge talent,” wrote Bachelot. “I send my condolences to his family and my loving thoughts to all those who grieve for him today.”