Vallée, Jean-Marc: Canadian Director of Dallas Buyers Club and Big Little Lies Dies at 58

‘Dallas Buyers Club’ and ‘Big Little Lies’ Director, Dies at 58

Vallée, who earned an Emmy for his work on the HBO series, was remembered by the network as a “hugely caring man who invested his whole self alongside every actor he directed.”


Jean-Marc Vallée, known for directing such films as Dallas Buyers Club and Wild and the HBO series Big Little Lies, has died. He was 58.

Longtime producing partner Nathan Ross confirmed his passing. Vallée died in his cabin near Quebec City, Canada, and the cause of death was not immediately disclosed.

“Jean-Marc stood for creativity, authenticity and trying things differently,” the statement read. “He was a true artist and a generous, loving guy. 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 in Montreal, Vallée broke into directing through music videos. His debut film feature, the 1995 thriller Black List, earned nine nominations for Canada’s Genie Awards, while his 2005 coming-of-age movie C.R.A.Z.Y. won 11 Genies.

Emily Blunt starred as Britain’s Queen Victoria in his 2009 film The Young Victoria, which picked up three Oscar nominations including a win for best costume design.

The director went to the next level with 2013 film Dallas Buyers Club, the fact-based story of Ron Woodroof, who sold experimental drugs to AIDS patients. It earned six Academy Award nominations, including best picture, and led to trips to the podium for stars Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto.

Vallée directed and executive produced HBO’s star-studded adaptation of Big Little Lies, the David E. Kelley project that launched its first season in 2017. Vallée earned an Emmy for directing Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern and the rest of the A-list cast on the highly lauded show’s first season. 

In a statement, HBO’s team said they are “shocked at the news of his sudden death” and extended “heartfelt sympathies” to his family and loved ones.

“Jean-Marc Vallée was a brilliant, fiercely dedicated filmmaker, a truly phenomenal talent who infused every scene with a deeply visceral, emotional truth,” the network’s message stated. “He was also a hugely caring man who invested his whole self alongside every actor he directed.”

Other directing work includes the films Wild (2014), starring Witherspoon, and the Jake Gyllenhaal vehicle Demolition (2015).

Vallée is survived by sons Alex and Émile.