A tragic loss. Black Lightning alum Charlbi Dean died of an unexpected illness at age 32 on Monday, August 29.
According to Deadline, Dean was in New York City at the time of her death. The South African actress played Syonide in season 1 of the CW superhero series, which starred Cress Williams, China Anne McClain and Nafessa Williams.
In addition to Black Lightning, Dean was best known for the Spud films, which star Troye Sivan. The 27-year-old “My My My!” singer shared a picture of his former costar via his Instagram Story alongside a broken heart emoji on Tuesday, August 29.
A breakthrough in Dean’s career came in 2022, with her portrayal of a model named Yaya in the Palme d’Or winning film Triangle of Sadness, which stars Harris Dickinson and Woody Harrelson. In May, Dean celebrated the movie’s big Cannes Film Festival win via Instagram.
“@Ruben_ostland, you’re the GOAT,” she said, giving the film’s director a shout-out. “I’m forever thankful for you for trusting me to be a part of your genius. … Can’t believe I had the best year making this during one of the hardest times in my life.”
In a May interview with Vogue Scandinavia, the Spud 2: The Madness Continues actress shared that she, Dickinson and Harrelson were in a group chat called “The Trianglers.” She revealed that she wasn’t nervous auditioning for Ruben Ostland’s critically acclaimed film — because she assumed she had no shot at getting the part.
“When I got the callback, originally over Zoom, I was like, ‘Oh, great, now I’ve actually got a chance and I’m going to f—k it up,’” she told the outlet.
After news broke of the actress’ death, her friends began to commemorate her via social media. “Charlbi would keep me company on the silliest errand, and she knew how to make any day special,” Dean’s friend Helena Beato captioned a carousel of Instagram photos of the model. “She was a beautiful woman and a beautiful soul who always lit up the room. She was probably the coolest person I ever met. One of those effortlessly cool people — authentic, genuine and caring. She was incredibly talented, but don’t let it fool you, she worked very hard to get where she was.”
Nina Dobrev also honored Dean via Instagram Stories, writing, “an angel has gone to heaven far too soon. Rest in peace, Charlbi” alongside a boomerang video of her and the Blood in the Water actress. “May heaven be all you ever imagined,” she wrote in a subsequent Story.
Keep scrolling for everything to know about the late actress and model:
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