In a tragic turn of events, the human remains discovered in California’s mountains have been officially identified as those of Julian Sands, a renowned British actor who had gone missing during a hike in January. The remains were found by walkers on Saturday and have since been confirmed.
Sands, aged 65, was widely recognized for his remarkable performances in notable works such as the Academy Award-winning film “A Room With A View” and popular TV dramas like “24” and “Smallville.” His talents also shone in the 2011 movie “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” where he appeared alongside Daniel Craig.
The actor disappeared on January 13 while navigating through the treacherous conditions of the Baldy Bowl area in the San Gabriel Mountains. Despite the challenges posed by severe storms, icy terrain, and the constant threat of avalanches, extensive air and ground searches were conducted to locate him.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has confirmed the positive identification of the remains found over the weekend in the Mount Baldy area as those belonging to Julian Sands. However, the circumstances surrounding his death remain under investigation pending further test results.
In a statement, the department expressed gratitude towards the dedicated volunteers who tirelessly participated in the search efforts to locate Sands.
Last week, the actor’s family conveyed their appreciation to the Californian authorities for their relentless endeavors to find Julian. They fondly remembered him as a cherished father, husband, adventurer, lover of nature and the arts, and a uniquely collaborative performer.
In late January, Julian’s brother Nick Sands, who resides in North Yorkshire where they grew up alongside their three other brothers, expressed having already come to terms with the loss. He stated that he had bid his final farewells to Julian and had found his own way to cope with the devastating news.
Julian Sands was an avid hiker, and his friend and hiking partner, Kevin Ryan, affirmed that it was a true passion of his. Ryan described Sands as the most skilled hiker he had known.
Born in Otley, Yorkshire, Sands embarked on his acting career with notable roles in films such as “The Killing Fields.” His talent captured the attention of director James Ivory, who cast him over actors like Rupert Everett in the 1985 film adaptation of E.M. Forster’s novel “A Room With A View.” The movie, set in Edwardian-era England and Italy, revolved around Helena Bonham Carter’s character, Lucy Honeychurch, and her growing affection for Sands’ character, George Emerson.
“A Room With A View” garnered widespread acclaim and achieved box office success, ultimately earning accolades including an Oscar, Bafta, and Golden Globe awards. It has been recognized by the British Film Institute as one of the top 100 British films.
Sands further displayed his versatility by portraying the English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley in Ken Russell’s psychological thriller “Gothic” before venturing into Hollywood. He notably starred as the titular character in the 1989 horror film “Warlock” and its sequel. Additionally, Sands made notable contributions to films like “Arachnophobia,” “Boxing Helena,” and “Leaving Las Vegas.” In 2003, he shared the screen with Jackie Chan in the action-comedy film “The Medallion.”
On the television front, Sands portrayed a Russian terrorist in Kiefer Sutherland’s TV drama “24” in 2006 and took on the role of Superman’s biological father, Jor-El, in “Smallville” in 2009.
Sands’ personal life intertwined with his acting career when fellow actor John Malkovich introduced him to his wife, writer Evgenia Citkowitz. The couple resided in North Hollywood and had two children together.
Prior to his marriage to Citkowitz, Sands had been married to Sarah Sands, the former editor of BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program, with whom he also had a son.