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Actress Charlbi Dean Died Suddenly At 32 & Her Breakout Movie Is Weeks Away From Release

Her upcoming film was a big hit at Cannes.

Senior Global Editor
Charlbi Dean.

Charlbi Dean.

Charlbi Dean, a South African model and actress said to be on the cusp of becoming a star, has died suddenly at the age of 32.

Dean passed away on Monday, seemingly from a sudden and unexpected illness in New York City, according to a statement provided by her representative to TMZ and Deadline.

It's unclear exactly what health issues Dean was dealing with.

Dean was a model who also appeared in a handful of films and TV shows over the last decade-plus. She is perhaps best-known for playing the villain Syonide in Black Lightning, a superhero show on the CW. She also went by the name Charlbi Kriek earlier in her career.

Although she only had a handful of minor parts over the last decade, some critics were expecting her to break out later this year thanks to her leading role in Triangle of Sadness, a sort of Cast Away-meets-The White Lotus satire due for wide release in October.

Triangle of Sadness won the Palme d'Or as the top film at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year and also stars Woody Harrelson.

Social media users quickly turned to Dean's boyfriend, Luke Chase Volker, to share their condolences. Many left their messages on an Instagram post that he published in May, in which he celebrated her star turn in Triangle of Sadness.

"So sorry for the loss of your beautiful love," wrote one person. "Life is very unfair."

"Sending you love and strength," added another.

Dean survived a scary near-death experience in 2009 when she and her then-boyfriend were involved in a vehicle crash in Cape Town, South Africa. The crash then put Dean in the ICU and left her with several broken bones and a collapsed lung, according to reports.

She ultimately recovered and had a signature scar on her belly for the remainder of her life.

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