The Dallas Buyers Club director’s death on Christmas Day at 58 years of age stunned fans, with a preliminary report on Christmas Eve stating, ‘Mr. Vallée’s death was not caused by the intervention of another party, a voluntary act, or a known disease.’
The filmmaker’s death was particularly shocking since he was a fitness enthusiast who abstained from alcohol in his daily life.He also practiced the Wim Hof method, which achieves health through unique breathing exercises and exposure to cold weather.
The director was found dead at his cabin just outside Quebec City, Quebec the day after Christmas last year, where he was preparing to celebrate with family and friends. The filmmaker’s family released a statement on Wednesday that reveals the coroner claiming he passed from, ‘fatal cardiac arrhythmia secondary to severe coronary atherosclerosis.’
Vallee shared two sons Alex and Emile with Chantal Cadieux, who he was married to from 1990 to 2006.‘Testimonials of friendship, esteem and respect for our father and for his work are still coming from around the world,’ Alex and Émile Vallée said in a statement.
‘We are sincerely grateful and we hope that his creativity will continue to serve as inspiration and guidance to the people in this industry that he was so passionate about,’ his sons concluded.
The family also revealed that they will share details of commemorative events for the late filmmaker in the near future.The filmmaker was born in Montreal on March 19, 1963, and studied filmmaking at Quebec University.
He started his career directing music videos and short films in the late 1980s and early 1990s before making his feature film debut with Liste Noire in 1995, which was nominated for several Genie Awards in Canada, including for best picture.
Vallee would go on to direct Los Locos in 1997 for writer-star Mario Van Peebles, Danny Trejo and Rene Auberjonois and 2005’s C.R.A.Z.Y. with Michel Cote and Marc-Andre Grondin, before breaking into the mainstream in 2009 with The Young Victoria, written by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, starring Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend.
He next wrote and directed Cafe de Flore in 2011 starring Vanessa Paradis and Evelyne Brochu, before his Oscar-nominated drama Dallas Buyers Club in 2013. The film told the story of Ron Woodruff, an AIDS patient in the 1980s who smuggled unapproved drugs in an attempt to treat the disease.
The success of the movie, which featured Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto and earned six Academy Awards nominations, including best picture, made Vallee a sought-after name in Hollywood.
He went on to direct Demolition in 2015 with Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts before turning to television with a pair of critically-acclaimed TV shows.He directed all seven episodes of the first season of HBO’s Big Little Lies, which he won two Emmys for, and all eight episodes of HBO’s Sharp Objects.