Charlbi Dean, Star of Woody Harrelson Movie ‘Triangle of Sadness,’ Dead at 32

by Caitlin Berard

Up-and-coming actress Charlbi Dean has died at the age of 32, as confirmed by a rep for the South African star. According to a source close to the actress, Dean died on Monday in a hospital in New York City. Though the cause of death remains undisclosed, the source revealed to The New York Post that she passed from an unexpected illness.

Just this year, Charlbi Dean starred in her biggest project yet – a film entitled Triangle of Sadness. Not only did she lead the film alongside Woody Harrelson but the satire also made waves at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, earning top honors with the Palme d’Or award.

“Congratulations our family we did it!!!” Dean wrote on Instagram following the film’s impressive Cannes accolades. “[Ruben Ostlund] you’re the GOAT I’m forever thankful for you for trusting me to be a part of your genius and my dear [Sina Ostlund].”

“Can’t believe I had the best year making this during one of the hardest times in my life. Here’s some pics of the year in Sweden and Greece during the pandemic. Forever and always our [Triangle of Sadness] family.”

In addition to Triangle of Sadness, Charlbi Dean is known for her roles in Blood in the Water, Don’t Sleep, An Interview with God, and Porthole.

Perhaps her most popular role, however, was in the CW’s Black Lightning. In the series, Dean played Syonide, the surrogate daughter of the show’s primary villain, Tobias Whale.

Charlbi Dean’s Fans React to Her Tragic Passing

Charlbi Dean’s acting career began with the film Spud when she was just 20 years old. And her modeling career stretches back even further. Dean started modeling at the age of 6 and appeared on magazine covers and commercials as young as 12.

Following the news of her death, fans of the budding actress took to social media to express their shock and grief.

“So sad. Especially in what could have been her breakout year. Rest in peace,” one fan wrote. “Oh my, that’s terrible. It really seems like Triangle of Sadness was gonna be the film to put her on a more widespread map,” another said.

In 2009, Charlbi Dean and her then-boyfriend, male model Ashton Schnehage, narrowly survived a devastating car crash. As a result of the accident, Dean suffered a collapsed lung, damaged two vertebrae, and broke her wrist, four ribs, and an elbow.

The surgery that saved her life also resulted in a stomach scar several inches in length. The actress was never ashamed of the blemish, however. On the contrary, she was known to show it off in photoshoots and runway appearances.