Jean-Marc Vallée, the acclaimed filmmaker most known for his multiple Oscar-winning movies Dallas Buyers Club and hit HBO miniseries Big Little Lies and Sharp Objects, has died at the age of 58. As per Deadline, Vallée died at his cabin outside Quebec City this week. The cause of his death has yet to be revealed, but it’s noted that his passing came as a total shock to his friends and family.
Born in Montreal, Vallée made his directorial debut with 1995’s Black List before going on to helm three further films in his native Canada. His Hollywood big break came with 2009’s The Young Victoria, starring Emily Blunt as the eponymous monarch, which won the Best Costume gong at the Academy Awards. More acclaim followed with 2013’s Dallas Buyers Club, a Matthew McConaughey vehicle about the 1980s AIDs crisis that earned three Oscars, including Best Actor. 2014’s Wild was met with likewise Oscar noms for stars Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern.
In the second half of the past decade, Vallée transmuted his cinematic success onto the small screen with Emmy favorite Big Little Lies, featuring Wild‘s Witherspoon and Dern alongside Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep. Vallée helmed the show’s first season in 2017 before handing the baton to Andrea Arnold for its second season, though he remained on as an executive producer. Vallée struck gold again with 2018’s Sharp Objects, the Amy Adams thriller series. It now stands as his final directorial effort.
Vallée’s producing partner Nathan Ross said the following in a statement to Deadline:
“Jean-Marc stood for creativity, authenticity and trying things differently,” Ross said. “He was a true artist and a generous, loving guy. Everyone who worked with him couldn’t help but see the talent and vision he possessed. He was a friend, creative partner and an older brother to me. The maestro will sorely be missed but it comforts knowing his beautiful style and impactful work he shared with the world will live on.”
HBO released their own statement, in which they praised Vallée as a “truly phenomenal talent” and a “hugely caring man.”
“Jean-Marc Vallée was a brilliant, fiercely dedicated filmmaker, a truly phenomenal talent who infused every scene with a deeply visceral, emotional truth,” HBO said. “He was also a hugely caring man who invested his whole self alongside every actor he directed. We are shocked at the news of his sudden death, and we extend our heartfelt sympathies to his sons, Alex and Émile, his extended family, and his longtime producing partner, Nathan Ross.”
Jean-Marc Vallée is survived by his two sons, Alex and Émile, as well as his three siblings, Marie-Josée Vallée, Stéphane Tousignant, and Gérald Vallée.