South African model-turned-actress Charlbi Dean died aged 32 from an ‘unexpected sudden illness’ at a New York City hospital on Monday.
Her death came just weeks before the release of the Oscar-tipped satirical comedy Triangle of Sadness which was set to make her a star.
Four months ago she got engaged to her boyfriend of four years, Luke Chase Volker, on the same Manhattan street as their first kiss.
Charlbi owned homes in the Hollywood Hills, New York City, and her Cape Town hometown where she and the 26-year-old South African model lived with their dog Kanicki Deathbat Dean.
Dean (last name Kriek) is also survived by her parents, Johan and Joanne Kriek, as well as her brother Alexi Jacobs Kriek.
Alexi had written a poem, unaware about who it would be about, but ‘life has answered my question in the most cruel way’ as he posted it on Instagram in his sister’s memory on Tuesday.
Among Charlbi’s many friends was Cuban actress Ana de Armas, who’s famous for her ex-boyfriend Ben Affleck as well as her upcoming role as Marilyn Monroe in Netflix’s Blonde.
Audiences might be familiar with the up-and-coming actress for her roles in The CW’s Black Lightning in 2018, Perry Lang’s 2018 film An Interview with God, or Donovan Marsh’s 2010 film Spud and its 2013 sequel.
Dean’s final acting role was portraying model Yaya opposite Woody Harrelson in Ruben Östlund’s shipwreck satirical comedy Triangle of Sadness, which hits US theaters October 7 and UK theaters October 28.
On May 21, the homeschooled millennial reunited with her castmates at the world premiere, which received an eight-minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival and won the coveted Palme d’Or.
‘Congratulations our family we did it!’ Charlbi gushed on May 29.
‘@ruben_ostlund you’re the GOAT I’m forever thankful for you for trusting me to be apart of your genius and my dear @sinaostlund. Can’t believe I had the best year making this during one of the hardest times in my life.’