Gaspard Ulliel, ‘Hannibal Rising’ Star, Dies at 37 in Skiing Accident

by Josh Lanier

Gaspard Ulliel, the French actor and star of Hannibal Rising and the upcoming Marvel series Moon Knight died in a ski accident in the French Alps. He was 37 years old and left behind a 6-year-old son.

Reports said he collided with another skier at the intersection of two slopes on Tuesday and suffered a traumatic brain injury, Variety reported. Police are investigating the accident. Ulliel began acting as a child and was one of France’s most recognizable stars. He made his debut in American movies in 2007’s Hannibal Rising. He starred as a young Hannibal Lecter in a prequel to Silence of the Lambs. His star had only grown since then. He won two Cesar Awards, the French equivalent of the Oscars, for 2005’s A Very Long Engagement and It’s Only The End of the World in 2014.

Peter Webber, who directed Hannibal Rising, tweeted: “Shocked and saddened to hear about the death of Gaspard Ulliel at such a young age in a skiing accident. I have such fond memories of working with him all those years ago on Hannibal Rising. Rest in peace, dear friend.”

Marvel cast him as Midnight Man in the upcoming Disney+ series Moon Knight with Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke. The studio released a trailer for the six-episode saga yesterday. It debuts on the streaming service on March 30.

Cannes Director: Ulliel Was ‘Making Tomorrow’s French Cinema’

Many luminaries in French cinema saw Gaspard Ulliel as the future of the industry. As news broke Wednesday about his accident, many of the biggest stars in the country paid tribute to him.

“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,” said Thierry Fremaux, the director of the Cannes Film Festival, according to Variety. “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.”

Ulliel was such a large figure there that his death even drew condolences from French Prime Minister Jean Castex, according to CNN.

“Gaspard Ulliel grew up with cinema and cinema grew up with him. They loved each other madly,” Castex tweeted. “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.”

Ulliel told Indie Wire in 2011 that he fell in love with acting as a child and hoped to work as a director someday.

“After high school, I decided to go to film school,” he continued. “When you’re so passionate about cinema, the idea to direct your own film is really appealing. That was what I wanted to do at that time, and at the same time, I was getting more and more offers to act in film. So I decided to stop those studies and give it a chance as an actor.”

Ulliel is survived by his 6-year-old son, Orso, and his girlfriend, French model Gaelle Petri.