Cover Gaspard Ulliel attends the jury photocall. (Photo: Getty Images)

Gaspard Ulliel was due to star as Midnight Man in Marvel’s latest Moon Knight series for Disney+ on March 30

French actor Gaspard Ulliel, a highly decorated star who had a leading role in an upcoming Marvel television series has passed away at 37, following a tragic skiing accident, according to his family.

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According to reports, Ulliel collided with another skier at the intersection of two blue slopes in La Rosière, a ski resort in the Savoie region.

He was not wearing a helmet and had to be transported by helicopter to a hospital in Grenoble as a result of head trauma. He was unconscious when he was airlifted out, and subsequently died on January 19. 

Ulliel’s tragic death comes just weeks before he was due to appear as Midnight Man in Marvel’s latest Moon Knight series for Disney+ on March 30.

With international roles, multiple awards and a long-standing professional relationship with Chanel, Ulliel definitely leaves quite a formidable legacy behind, despite his young age. 

Keep reading to find out more about his illustrious career below.

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1. He came onto the scene when he was just 11 years old

Ulliel began his acting career at the age of only 11 and while he was still in school. He appeared in a film meant for French television, Une Femme En Blanc. He later went on to a private French drama school in Paris where he was discovered by director and screenwriter André Téchiné.

He continued to be cast in French films from that point. Most notably, he was in films such as Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s A Very Long Engagement which won him a César Award for Most Promising Actor.

He did this till he was given his first English-language film, Hannibal Rising.

2. He gained international attention from his performance in ‘Hannibal Rising’

Hannibal Rising is a 2007 psychological horror film and the fifth film in the Hannibal Lecter franchise. The film starred Ulliel as Hannibal Lector and tells the story of how Lector turned from a Nazi hunter into a serial killer. 

Ulliel’s performance in the film was what propelled him to fame and that was when he started getting taken seriously as an actor. 

3. He played Yves Saint Laurent in his biopic

In 2014, Ulliel appeared as Yves Saint Laurent in his biopic, Saint Laurent. The biographical drama was co-written and directed by Bertrand Bonello and centred on the peak of Saint Laurent’s career from 1967 to 1976.

This was another pivotal moment in Ulliel’s career because his performance earned him a Lumières Award for Best Actor.

He was also nominated for both the César Award for Best Actor and the Globes de Cristal Award for Best Actor for his role in the film. 

The film itself received ten César Award nominations, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actor.

4. He has had a longstanding partnership with Chanel

While Ulliel is an incredible presence in the acting industry, he also commands just as much of a presence in the fashion one with his longtime partnership with Chanel.

Ulliel was the face of its men’s fragrance Bleu de Chanel and is known for appearing in many of its perfume advertisements. 

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“It is with deep sadness that we learned of Gaspard Ulliel’s passing,” Chanel said in a statement. “For 12 years, he was an ambassador for Chanel, but more importantly, he was a close friend of the house.”

“We have been fortunate to have had by our side all these years a person endowed with great culture, [he is] an immense talent and of unparalleled kindness. He will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers go to his family and his friends,” it continued.

Ulliel was also the face of Longchamp at one point and appeared in an advertising campaign with Kate Moss in 2008.

5. He is a highly decorated actor

While Ulliel has certainly received many awards for his various roles over the years, many people don’t know that he was also the recipient of the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters in 2015.

The Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters is presented to individuals to recognise their significant contributions to the arts and literature as well as contributions to these fields. 

It is highly prestigious and is not limited to French nationals. 


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