Jean-Marc Vallée, 'Big Little Lies' and 'Dallas Buyers Club' Director, Dead at 58

Jean-Marc Vallee
Phillip Faraone/WireImage

Critically acclaimed director Jean-Marc Vallée has passed away suddenly at the age of 58, ET can confirm. 

Vallée died on Sunday at his cabin outside of Quebec City, Canada. His cause of death is currently unknown. 

“Jean-Marc stood for creativity, authenticity and trying things differently. He was a  true artist and a generous, loving guy," Vallée's producing partner Nathan Ross told ET. "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.”

Born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, Vallée studied filmmaking at the Université du Québec à Montréal. His breakout feature film was C.R.A.Z.Y. which he wrote and directed. Vallée got his start directing music videos and his breakthrough film success came with 2013's Dallas Buyers Club starring Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, which won three Oscars and earned him a nomination for film editing. He followed that up the next year with Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon. 

Vallée also made a name for himself in television, directing the hits series Big Little Lies and Sharp Objects, the former of which earned him an Emmy for both directing and for Outstanding Limited Series. 

Shortly after the news broke of Vallée's death, Witherspoon took to her Instagram Stories, sharing a photo with her collaborator, whom she worked with on Wild and Big Little Lies

Reese Witherspoon and Jean-Marc Vallée
Reese Witherspoon/Instagram Stories

"My heart is broken. My friend," Witherspoon wrote. "I love you." 

Laura Dern, who worked with Vallée on the same projects also posted a laughing pic with the director, writing, "Beautiful Jean-Marc Vallee. The world has lost one of our great and purest artists and dreamers. And we lost our beloved friend. Our hearts are broken."

Shailene Woodley, who starred in Big Little Lies, shared a photo of Vallée on her Instagram Stories, writing, "I am in shock. Complete and utter shock. My f**king god death is the worst. But I guess somehow I know you will turn it into a grand adventure... one for the books. One I can't wait to read & to watch when my time comes. It doesn't make sense though dude. It doesn't make sense. Maybe when we wake up tomorrow you'll be there laughing saying it was just a satirical short film you made. That it's not real." 

Nicole Kidman, who also starred in Big Little Lies, wrote, "It’s hard to imagine someone as vital, energetic and present as Jean-Marc being gone. I'm shattered. He was at the center of my creative universe and I can’t overstate his significance to me. Jean-Marc was not only responsible for some of the most rewarding professional experiences of my career, but his friendship, kindness and love were an inspiring force I will carry with me. I will always cherish those nights filming above the crashing waves of Big Sur… It doesn’t get better than that. I am forever grateful for my time shared with this extraordinary human. Forever Jean Marc."

McConaughey and Leto also paid tribute on Monday.

"With a gentle hand and heart Jean-Marc was a true receiver," McConaughey wrote on his Instagram Story alongside a picture of the two together. "He didn't romanticize life so much as he saw life romantic — from the struggle to the pain to the wink and the whisper, love stories were everywhere in his eye."

Leto wrote on his own Instagram, "A filmmaking force and a true artist who changed my life with a beautiful movie called Dallas Buyers Club. Much love to everyone who knew him. Life is precious."

Vallée is survived by his sons, Alex and Émile, and siblings Marie-Josée Vallée, Stéphanie Tousignant and Gérald Vallée.


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