Renowned British actor Julian Sands, 65, who went missing during a California mountain hike five months ago, has been confirmed dead by US authorities. The confirmation came three days after human remains were discovered in the southern California hills, where Sands disappeared in January.
A passionate hiker and mountaineer residing in Los Angeles, Sands set out on a trek near Mount Baldy, east of Los Angeles, on January 13. However, severe storms and wintry conditions posed significant challenges during his expedition.
The investigation has now confirmed that the human remains found in the wilderness on Saturday belong to the beloved actor. While an autopsy has been conducted, further test results are required to ascertain the cause of death.
Despite multiple search efforts aided by drones and helicopters, the adverse weather conditions impeded any discovery until civilian hikers stumbled upon the remains. Sands, originally from England, began his acting career in his home country, ultimately amassing over 150 credits in film and television spanning four decades.
Notably, between 1985 and 1995, he played significant roles in a series of critically acclaimed films.
Breakthrough: Sands' Stellar Role
After studying at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, Sands made his mark in both stage and film, starting with smaller parts in movies like "Oxford Blues" and "The Killing Fields." However, it was his starring role as George Emerson in the 1985 British romance "A Room With a View" that propelled him to international recognition.
The film, directed by James Ivory and produced by Ismail Merchant, garnered numerous accolades, including the British Academy of Film and Television Arts award for best film and three Oscars. Following the success of "A Room With a View," Sands relocated to the United States to pursue a career in Hollywood.
He portrayed the title character in the 1989 horror fantasy "Warlock" and its sequel. In the 1990 horror comedy "Arachnophobia," alongside Jeff Daniels and John Goodman, Sands played an entomologist specializing in spiders.
Additionally, he made notable guest appearances or recurring roles in TV series such as "24," "Medici," "Smallville," "Dexter," "Gotham," and "Elementary." Sands' final film appearance was in 2022's "The Ghosts of Monday." In a recent statement released by his family, their deep sorrow was expressed along with cherished memories of Sands as a loving father, husband, nature enthusiast, and collaborative performer.
Sands had previously shared his passion for the outdoors in a 2020 interview, describing his joy when close to a mountain summit on a crisp morning. His ultimate dream was to conquer a remote peak in the high Himalayas, like Makalu.
Julian Sands is survived by his wife, journalist Evgenia Citkowitz, and three adult children. The world mourns the loss of a talented actor whose legacy will forever remain in the hearts of those who admired his artistry and adventurous spirit.