Jean-Marc Vallée, the Quebecois director of films including Dallas Buyers Club and TV projects such as Big Little Lies and Sharp Objects, has died outside of Quebec City in his cabin. He was 58.
According to Deadline, they learned that Vallée died of a heart attack from multiple sources. The cause of death for certain is not immediately known.
“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.” says his producing partner, Nathan Ross.
Born in Montreal, Vallée studied film at the Université de Montréal, where he made music videos and short films, collecting his first feature, Black List.
After making 2005’s acclaimed Quebec film C.R.A.Z.Y., based on the life of a close friend, he directed The Young Victoria, starring Emily Blunt, which collected three Academy Award nominations. His other films included Cafe de Flore, Los Locos, a Western written by and starring Mario Van Peebles, Loser Love, and Demolition, starring Jake Gyllenhaal.
Vallée earned an Oscar nomination and worked with Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey in 2013 in Dallas Buyers Club. The film itself was based on the true story of Ron Woodroof, an AIDS patient who smuggled pharmaceutical drugs into Texas and distributed them to fellow AIDS patients through “The Dallas Buyers Club.”
The following year, he directed and worked with Reese Witherspoon in Wild, which was based on the bestselling memoir about a former heroin addict who hiked the Pacific Crest Trail to find herself.
Vallée continued to work with Witherspoon on the HBO series Big Little Lies, in which he won an Emmy for directing the best-limited series, movie, or special. He adapted the series from the best-selling novel by Liane Moriarty, which also starred, Laura Dern, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley, and it drew acclaim for its lushly photographed look at the lives of wealthy coastal families who must confront a sudden death in their midst.
He continued to work with HBO on another suspenseful mini-series, Sharp Objects. He was also set to direct another series for HBO, Gorilla and the Bird, based on the memoir by Zack McDermott about a public defender who suffers a sudden psychotic break.
He is survived by two children and three siblings.