Actress Charlbi Dean died at age 32 after suffering from a “sudden illness,” a source confirmed to In Touch on Tuesday, August 30.
The model, who is known for her roles in Triangle of Sadness and Black Lightning, died in a New York City hospital on Monday, August 29, after falling ill, her rep previously told The Hollywood Reporter.
The South African star’s biggest role to date is Triangle of Sadness. Dean stars in the Ruben Östlun-directed film as Yaya alongside Woody Harrelson, who portrays the Captain, and Harris Dickinson, playing Carl. In May, Dean attended the Cannes Film Festival with her fellow castmates to promote the movie, which is set to premiere in theaters on October 7.
The film and Dean’s performance found favor with critics during the prestigious festival. “Dickinson and modeling industry recruit Dean provide an agreeably absurd center to all this, coaxing sly humor out of Carl and Yaya’s entitlement and their gradual awakening to the realities of a world outside their bubble,” a critique of the film by THR said.
It was clear that Dean was extremely grateful for her booming career. “I’m late to post, but I’m still taking everything in,” she wrote via Instagram on June 3 after attending Cannes. “I also had no idea what photocall was but I do now hehe thank you, @dior @diorbeauty.”
Prior to that, she reflected on the great experience she had filming. “Can’t believe I had the best year making this during one of the hardest times in my life,” Dean wrote on May 29, adding about the director, “You’re the GOAT I’m forever thankful for you for trusting me to be a part of your genius.”
Dean’s filmography had been growing in recent years. She appeared in Blood in the Water in 2016, 2017’s Don’t Sleep and in 2018, she starred in An Interview With God and Porthole. The actress, who was born in Cape Town, South Africa, first made her debut on the big screen in the 2010 South African movie Spud and appeared in the sequel three years later.
The Vogue cover star actually followed in her mother’s footsteps before branching off into movies. “My mom was a model but very shy. I wanted to be an actress, and in South Africa, modeling was the closest thing to it,” she told Interview in 2013. “Doing TV commercials was where I started.”
She dropped out of high school after she began modeling at 14. “I went to school early, so was always the youngest and never the tallest. I was named ‘walking, talking toothpick,'” she recalled at the time. “Being very skinny was something I hated at school.”
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