Charlbi Dean, the South African actress who delivered a star-making turn in the Palme d'Or-winning Triangle of Sadness, died on Monday due to an unexpected sudden illness, confirms The Hollywood Reporter. She was 32.
Born on February 5, 1990, in Cape Town, South Africa, Dean began modeling at a young age before making her film debut in 2010 in the South African dramedy Spud. (She would reprise her role in the 2013 sequel, Spud 2: The Madness Continues.) In recent years, she played the villainous assassin Syonide in the CW superhero series Black Lightning.
Dean's breakthrough performance came in Ruben Östlund's satirical comedy Triangle of Sadness, which premiered during this year's 75th Cannes Film Festival and won the festival's top prize. The film stars Dean and Harris Dickinson as a celebrity model couple aboard a luxury cruise for the uber-rich.
Östlund paid tribute to his late star on social media, writing, "Charlbi's sudden passing is a shock and a tragedy. It is an honor to have gotten to know and work with her. Charlbi had a care and sensitivity that lifted her colleagues and the entire film crew. The thought that she will not be by our side in the future makes me very sad. At this difficult time, my thoughts go out to her loved ones, her family and her fiance Luke."
Co-stars Dickinson and Dolly de Leon also shared their own tributes to Dean, below.
Dean previously reflected on her experience shooting Triangle of Sadness, posting on Instagram following the Palme d'Or win: "Congratulations our family we did it!!! [Ruben Östlund] you’re the GOAT I'm forever thankful for you for trusting me to be apart of your genius and my dear @sinaostlund Can't believe I had the best year making this during one of the hardest times in my life... Forever and always our @triangleofsadness family"
Dean is survived by her fiancé, model Luke Volker. Triangle of Sadness will open in theaters Oct. 7.
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