Jean-Marc Vallée, director of ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ dies aged 58

Jean-Marc Vallée, director of ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ dies aged 58

Jean-Marc Vallée, the celebrated director, producer, Emmy winner, and Oscar nominee, has passed away over the weekend, aged 58. The tragic news was confirmed on Sunday, December 26, by his representative, Bumble Ward.

He was reportedly at his cabin outside the Canadian city of Quebec at the time of his sudden death, believed to have been a heart attack, on Christmas Day.

In 2009 Vallée directed ‘The Young Victoria’, featuring Emily Blunt, but then became big news in Hollywood after earning six Academy Awards nominations in 2013 – including for Best Picture’ – for his movie, ‘Dallas Buyers Club’, which starred Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto – for which he won an Academy Award.

An Emmy came his way later in 2017, when he directed the hit series ‘Big Little Lies‘ for HBO, working with Reece Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman. He had previously teamed up with Witherspoon on the 2014 film ‘Wild’. ‘Sharp Objects’ was another smash for HBO, this time in 2018, with Amy Adams. The director won DGA awards for both his HBO series.

Vallée was recognised for allowing his actors to improvise their scripts, often using hand-held cameras to shoot scenes, along with the use of natural lighting.

During an interview with Associated Press in 2014, the Canadian explained, “They can move anywhere they want. It’s giving the importance to storytelling, emotion, characters. I try not to interfere too much. I don’t need to cut performances. Often, the cinematographer and I were like, ‘This location sucks. It’s not very nice. But, hey, that’s life'”.

Matthew McConaughey paid tribute to the flimmaker, tweeting, “With a gentle hand and heart, Jean-Marc was a true receiver – he didn’t romanticise life so much as he saw life romantic – from the struggle to the pain, to the wink, and the whisper, love stories were everywhere in his eye”.

Jared Leto also tweeted, saying that Vallée was “a filmmaking force, and a true artist, who changed my life”.

Posting on Instagram, Reece Witherspoon wrote, “I will always remember you as the sun goes down. Chasing the light. On a mountain in Oregon. On a beach in Monterey. Making sure we all caught a little magic in this lifetime. I love you, Jean-Marc. Until we meet again”, as reported by


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at


    • Naimah Yianni

      28 December 2021 • 14:12

      Hmm, another sudden heart attack. Move along please, nothing to be seen here!

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