LYON, France (AP) — French actor Gaspard Ulliel, best known for starring in commercials for Chanel perfumes and for film and TV roles, died Wednesday after a skiing accident in the Alps, according to his agent’s office and local authorities. . He was 37.
Ulliel played a young Hannibal Lecter in the 2007 film Hannibal Rising and fashion mogul Yves Saint Laurent in the 2014 biopic Saint Laurent. He also stars in the upcoming Marvel series Moon Knight and was the face of the men’s fragrance Chanel Bleu de Chanel.
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On Tuesday afternoon, Ulliel collided with another skier on a slope marked as intermediate after turning left, allegedly to join his friends on a nearby slope, Albertville’s Savoy prosecutor Anne Gache said in a statement released Wednesday.
The preliminary findings of the investigation showed that “both skiers fell to the ground after the collision,” the prosecutor said. According to Gaches, Ulliel was “immobile and unconscious when rescuers arrived” while the other skier was unharmed.
According to her, Houlliel was taken by helicopter to the University Hospital of Grenoble, where doctors tried to resuscitate him. According to Gaches, the actor was pronounced dead on Wednesday, shortly after 4 p.m. local time.
The actor’s agent’s office confirmed that Ulliel died on Wednesday. He did not provide any details.
Ulliel began working in television while still in high school and won two of France’s top film awards, the César.
Tributes poured in from shocked fans and corridors of power. French Prime Minister Jean Castex tweeted a tribute saying: “Gaspard Ulliel grew up with cinema and cinema grew up with him. They were madly in love with each other.”
French Minister of Culture Roseline Bachelot-Narquin said she was deeply saddened by Ulliel’s death, calling the actor “a film prodigy who has perfectly embodied the French style around the world.”
The accident brought back memories of how Formula One great Michael Schumacher was seriously injured in 2013 while skiing in the French ski resort of Méribel, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from where Ulliel was skiing. Both were treated at the University Hospital of Grenoble.
Schumacher suffered serious head injuries when he fell and hit the right side of his head on a rock on the side of the marked slope. The German racing legend was skiing with his teenage son during a family holiday in the Alps.
Schumacher, 53, hasn’t been seen in public for eight years, and his family hasn’t released many details about his condition since the crash. His wife Corinna said in a Netflix documentary last year that her husband is “different, but he’s here” and that the family, including the couple’s son, Mick, who is now a Formula 1 driver himself, cares for him.
After Ulliel’s accident, the Rosières Ski Resort Mountain Police said its personnel were carrying out five or six rescues a day as the snow had hardened in recent days.
In the neighboring region of Haute-Savoie, a 5-year-old girl died on Saturday when a skier crashed into her. The man had been preliminarily charged with manslaughter, according to the Haute-Savoie prosecutor, who cited excessive speed as the likely cause of the accident.
Angela Charlton in Paris contributed.