French actor Gaspard Ulliel – one of the stars of Marvel’s upcoming TV series Moon Knight – has died after a freak skiing accident.
Ulliel, who also appeared in Chanel perfume ads and had other film and television roles, was one of France’s best-known actors.
The 37-year-old portrayed the young Hannibal Lecter in 2007’s Hannibal Rising and fashion mogul Yves Saint Laurent in the 2014 biopic Saint Laurent.
His agency said Ulliel was skiing in the Savoie region of the French Alps on Tuesday (local time) when he collided with another skier at a crossing point on the slopes.
Local broadcaster France Bleu said Ulliel suffered a skull injury and was taken to hospital. He died on Wednesday.
The other skier was not hospitalised, according to France Bleu.
An investigation is underway and police and prosecutors have refused to disclose further details.
News of Ulliel’s death came just a day after the trailer for Moon Knight, in which he stars as Midnight Man, was released online.
Ulliel started in television while still in middle school and went on to win two of France’s top cinema awards, the Cesar.
Tributes poured in from shocked fans and the corridors of power.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex tweeted an homage that said, “Gaspard Ulliel grew up with cinema and cinema grew up with him. They loved each other madly.”
The accident conjured up memories of when Formula One great Michael Schumacher hit his head in a ski accident 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 car 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 holiday in the Alps.
After Ulliel’s accident, the mountain police service for the Rosiere ski area said its personnel had been making five or six rescues every day as the snow hardened in recent days.
In the neighbouring Haute-Savoie region, a five-year-old girl was killed on Saturday when a skier crashed into her.
The man was handed preliminary manslaughter charges, according to the Haute-Savoie prosecutor, who cited excessive speed as the likely reason for the accident.