Actor Julian Sands Found Deceased on California Mountain during Hiking Trip

by Ryan Lee
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Actor Julian Sands, known for his roles in acclaimed films like “A Room With a View” and “Leaving Las Vegas,” has been confirmed dead by authorities. His remains were discovered on a Southern California mountain, five months after he went missing during a hiking expedition. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department stated that an investigation has confirmed the identity of the remains, which were found by civilian hikers near Mount Baldy. Sands, aged 65, was an experienced hiker and a resident of Los Angeles. He was reported missing on January 13 after embarking on a hike on the mountain that reaches over 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) above sea level. Despite extensive search efforts by search teams utilizing drones and helicopters, the wintry conditions of the area impeded their progress until the recent discovery by hikers.

While the chances of Sands being found alive had greatly diminished, the Sheriff’s Department, which had conducted an official search the day prior to the discovery, maintained that the case remained active.

Authorities have conducted an autopsy, but further tests are required to determine the cause of death.

Sands, originally from England, began his acting career there and amassed over 150 credits in film and television spanning four decades. From 1985 to 1995, he played significant roles in a series of highly regarded films. After studying at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, Sands ventured into stage and film acting, initially appearing in minor roles in movies such as “Oxford Blues” and “The Killing Fields.” However, he gained prominence when he secured the lead role of George Emerson in the 1985 British romance “A Room With a View,” directed by James Ivory and produced by Ismail Merchant. The film received critical acclaim, winning the British Academy of Film and Television Arts award for Best Film and earning eight Oscar nominations, three of which it won.

Following the success of “A Room With a View,” Sands relocated to the United States to pursue a career in Hollywood. He portrayed the titular character in the horror fantasy film “Warlock” and its sequel in 1989. In the 1990 horror comedy “Arachnophobia,” he played an entomologist specializing in spiders alongside Jeff Daniels and John Goodman. Sands also appeared in director David Cronenberg’s surreal adaptation of William Burroughs’ novel “Naked Lunch” in 1991.

In 1993, Sands starred in the thriller “Boxing Helena,” a film that attracted significant media attention during production due to casting changes. Madonna and Kim Basinger were initially attached to the lead role but ultimately backed out, and Sherilyn Fenn took on the part. However, the film was not well-received by audiences.

Author Anne Rice championed Sands for the role of Lestat in the highly anticipated 1994 Hollywood adaptation of her novel “Interview With the Vampire,” but the role eventually went to Tom Cruise.

In the 1995 drama “Leaving Las Vegas,” Sands portrayed an abusive Latvian pimp alongside Nicolas Cage and Elisabeth Shue. The film received four Oscar nominations and Cage won the award for Best Actor.

Sands had expressed his love for the outdoors in a 2020 interview, stating that he found great joy in being close to mountain summits on cold mornings. He also shared his dream of scaling remote peaks in the high Himalayas, like Makalu.

Following “Leaving Las Vegas,” Sands’ roles in films gradually decreased in terms of quality and prominence. Nevertheless, he continued to work steadily, appearing in movies such as director Wim Wenders’ “The Million Dollar Hotel” and director Dario Argento’s “The Phantom of the Opera.” Additionally, he made guest appearances or had recurring roles on various TV series, including “24,” “Medici,” “Smallville,” “Dexter,” “Gotham,” and “Elementary.” Sands’ final film was “The Ghosts of Monday,” released in 2022.

Sands was born in Yorkshire and grew up with four brothers under the care of a single mother. He had three children, two adult daughters named Imogen Morley Sands and Natalya Morley Sands with his wife, journalist Evgenia Citkowitz, whom he married in 1990. He also had a son named Henry Sands with his first wife, journalist Sarah Harvey.

Just a few days before his discovery, Sands’ family released a statement expressing their enduring love for him and remembering him as a wonderful father, husband, explorer, and collaborator who had a deep appreciation for nature and the arts.

This story has been corrected to indicate that hikers found the remains on Saturday, not Sunday.

Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about deceased

Q: Who is Julian Sands?

A: Julian Sands was an actor known for his roles in acclaimed films like “A Room With a View” and “Leaving Las Vegas.” He had a 40-year career in film and television, amassing over 150 credits.

Q: What happened to Julian Sands?

A: Julian Sands went missing during a hiking trip on a Southern California mountain. After five months of searching, his remains were found by hikers.

Q: Was Julian Sands an experienced hiker?

A: Yes, Julian Sands was an avid and experienced hiker. He had a love for the outdoors and was known to enjoy being close to mountain summits.

Q: What films was Julian Sands known for?

A: Julian Sands starred in several notable films, including “A Room With a View,” “Leaving Las Vegas,” “Warlock,” and “Naked Lunch.” He also had roles in TV series like “24” and “Dexter.”

Q: What were the circumstances of Julian Sands’ death?

A: The exact cause of Julian Sands’ death has not been determined yet. An autopsy has been conducted, but further tests are needed for conclusive results.

Q: Did Julian Sands have any family?

A: Yes, Julian Sands was married to journalist Evgenia Citkowitz and had two adult daughters with her. He also had a son from his first marriage to journalist Sarah Harvey.

Q: How long was Julian Sands missing before his remains were found?

A: Julian Sands was reported missing on January 13 and his remains were found five months later, after an extensive search effort hampered by wintry conditions.

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