Los Angeles: Jean-Marc Vallee, best known for directing films such as ”Dallas Buyers Club” and ”Wild”, along with the HBO series ”Big Little Lies”, has passed away at the age of 58.
Vallee’s longtime producing partner Nathan Ross confirmed his passing in a statement with The Hollywood Reporter. The filmmaker died suddenly over the weekend in his cabin near Quebec City, Canada, and the cause of death was not immediately disclosed.
”Jean-Marc stood for creativity, authenticity and trying things differently. 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,” Ross said in the statement.
Vallee was born in Montreal, Quebec and forayed into showbiz directing through music videos. He made his feature directorial debut with the 1995 thriller ”Black List”, which earned nine nominations for Canada’s Genie Awards, while his 2005 coming-of-age movie ”C.R.A.Z.Y.” won 11 Genies.
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His 2009 film ”The Young Victoria”, starring Emily Blunt as British monarch Queen Victoria, earned three Academy Award nominations including a win for best costume design.
But it was the 2013 film ”Dallas Buyers Club” that shot Vallee to prominence: it picked up six Oscar nods, including best picture and won Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto the trophies in best actor and best supporting actor categories. The film was a fact-based story of Ron Woodroof, who sold experimental drugs to AIDS patients. He followed with ”Wild,” which starred Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern. The film, an adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, was nominated for three Oscars.
Vallee reunited with Witherspoon and Dern in the critically acclaimed HBO series ”Big Little Lies” (2017), penned by David E Kelley based on Liane Moriarty’s novel of the same name. Vallee directed and executive produced the show, which earned him an Emmy in direction on the highly lauded first season which also starred Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz, and Alexander Skarsgard, among other A-listers.
He also directed and executive produced the 2018 limited series ”Sharp Objects”, another project with HBO. Starring Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson, the show was nominated for eight Emmys.
In a statement, HBO described Vallee as a brilliant, fiercely dedicated filmmaker, a truly phenomenal talent who infused every scene with a deeply visceral, emotional truth.
”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 Emile, his extended family, and his longtime producing partner, Nathan Ross,” the statement from the premium television network read.
Besides sons Alex and Emile, Vallee is survived by siblings Marie-Josee Vallee, Stephane Tousignant and Gerald Vallee.