Charlbi Dean Remembered by ‘Triangle of Sadness’ Director: She Had ‘Care and Sensitivity That Lifted Her Colleagues’

The South African star of Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or-winning film died suddenly Monday

Ruben Ostlund Pays Tribute to Charlbi Dean
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Ruben Östlund, the filmmaker behind this year’s Palme d’Or-winning film “Triangle of Sadness” out of Cannes, posted to his Instagram Wednesday morning to honor the late star of his film, Charlbi Dean.

A South African actress and model on-the-rise, Dean died suddenly Monday due to an unexpected illness. She was 32.

“Charlbi’s sudden passing is a shock and a tragedy,” Östlund wrote. “It is an honor to have gotten to know and work with her.”

In what was shaping up to be a breakout role for the young star, Dean co-led “Triangle of Sadness” as the character Yaya, a high-end fashion model who gets the chance to attend a cruise for the uber-wealthy as a social media influencer. She previously starred on The CW’s DC Comics series “Black Lightning,” as well, where she portrayed the character Syonide, a deadly assassin and the daughter of the show’s main antagonist Tobias Whale. In her native South Africa, she starred in “Spud” and “Spud 2: The Madness Continues.”

Continuing his post, Östlund remembered Dean’s energy and presence on set as being a welcoming one.

“Charlbi had a care and sensitivity that lifted her colleagues and the entire film crew,” he said. “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.”