French actor Gaspard Ulliel dead at 37 after skiing accident

French actor Gaspard Ulliel, known for film and television roles including the Oscar-nominated Canadian film It's Only the End of the World, died Wednesday after a skiing accident in the Alps, according to his agent's office. He was 37.

'Ulliel grew up with cinema and cinema grew up with him,' wrote French prime minister

Gaspard Ulliel attends an awards ceremony on Jan. 13, 2020 in Paris. The French actor died on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, after a skiing accident in the Alps, according to his agent's office. (Francois Durand/Getty Images)

French actor Gaspard Ulliel, known for film and television roles as well as the face of Chanel perfume ads, died Wednesday after a skiing accident in the Alps, according to his agent's office. He was 37. 

Ulliel was hospitalized Tuesday after the accident in the Savoie region's Rosiere ski area, the Savoie prosecutor's office said. The office of the actor's agent said Ulliel died on Wednesday. It provided no details.

Local broadcaster France Bleu said Ulliel was hospitalized with a skull injury, and that he apparently collided with another skier at a crossing point on the slopes. The other skier was not hospitalized, according to France Bleu. Police and prosecutors would not discuss details about what happened.

Starred in Canadian film

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

He also starred in Xavier Dolan's film It's Only the End of the World, chosen as Canada's submission for the best foreign-language film category at the 89th Academy Awards in 2017. 

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

From left, actors Vincent Cassel, Nathalie Baye, Marion Cotillard, director Xavier Dolan, Lea Seydoux and Gaspard Ulliel pose at the screening of Canadian film Juste la Fin du Monde (It's Only the End Of The World) at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2016. (Lionel Cironneau/The Associated Press)

Ulliel started in television while still in middle school and went on to win two Cesar awards, France's equivalent to the Oscar. 

Tributes poured in from shocked fans, colleagues and politicians. French Prime Minister Jean Castex tweeted that "Gaspard Ulliel grew up with cinema and cinema grew up with him. They loved each other madly."

Memories of Schumacher skiing accident

Ulliel's death conjured up memories of when Formula One great Michael Schumacher hit his head while skiing in 2013 in the French ski resort of Meribel, about 50 kilometres 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.

Following Ulliel's death, the mountain police service for the Rosiere ski area said its personnel have been carrying out five or six rescues daily as the snow hardened in recent days.

In the neighbouring Haute-Savoie region, a five-year-old girl was killed Saturday when another skier crashed into her. The man was handed preliminary manslaughter charges, according to the Haute-Savoie prosecutor, who cited excessive speed as the likely cause of the crash. 


  • A previous version of this story said the film It's Only the End of the World was nominated for an Oscar at the 89th Academy Awards. In fact, while the film was selected as Canada's official submission for the foreign-language category, it did not receive an official nomination.
    Jan 19, 2022 6:16 PM ET

With files from CBC News


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