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Human remains recently discovered by hikers in the Mount Baldy wilderness outside Los Angeles have been identified as those of British actor Julian Sands, who has been missing since January, authorities announced Tuesday.
On Saturday morning, civilian walkers contacted the Fontana Sheriff’s Station after finding the remains, which were then taken to the San Bernardino County coroner for identification.
“The identification process for the body located on Mount Baldy on June 24, 2023 has been completed and he has been positively identified as Julian Sands, 65, of North Hollywood,” the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department said. said in a statement. “The manner of death is still being investigated, pending further test results. We would like to extend our gratitude to all the volunteers who worked tirelessly to locate Mr. Sands.”
An avid outdoorsman, Sands was reported missing by his family on Jan. 13 after he went hiking that day in the Baldy Bowl Trail area of the San Gabriel Mountains. The sheriff’s department and volunteers have been scouring the area ever since, with the effects of an unusually harsh winter hampering their efforts.
“The local mountains offer great adventures, you can go out for an hour, a day or even several days,” Sands said in a May 2020 interview for the Thrive global website. “It’s always different and always great. And of course I believe in a certain athleticism for me as an actor, keeping fit is important. So living or being based in Los Angeles – actors don’t really live anywhere, they’re always on the go – lends itself to a wonderful outdoor lifestyle.
In two of his most memorable roles, Sands courted Helena Bonham Carter’s character in the acclaimed drama Merchant-Ivory A room with a view (1985) and played the role of a son of Satan in a couple of Sorcerer movie.
The lanky actor was also memorable as a Latvian pimp in Nicolas Cage’s lead Leaving Vegas (1995), one of seven films he made for writer, director and compatriot Mike Figgis. The others were The Browning version (1994), One night stand (1997), The loss of sexual innocence (1999), the innovative Time code (2000), Hotels (2001) and Suspension of disbelief (2012).
He wasn’t afraid to take risks: he played a shape-shifting centipede posing as a Swiss gentleman in David Cronenberg’s film Naked lunch (1991) and the surgeon who amputates his obsession four times (Sherilyn Fenn) in Jennifer Lynch’s controversial film Boxing Helena (1993).
Sands made a splash as British photographer Jon Swain in the film directed by Roland Joffé The extermination camps (1984), on the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. The film also stars Sam Waterston, Haing S. Ngor and John Malkovich.
“Roland’s audition process was extraordinary,” he said The Guardian in a 2014 interview “I was 24 and since then I have never come across something so rigorous. He was trying to put together a crew of actors without a lot of film experience, because he wanted the freshness of it all to resonate with us.”
The extermination camps was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, and two years later, it was A room with a view. In the romantic period piece, Sands was at his best as free-spirited George Emerson, who finally wins the love of Bonham Carter’s Lucy Honeychurch over bookish Cecil Vyse (Daniel Day-Lewis) in the year 1907.
“The power of the film was in what the camera saw as much as what the characters were saying to each other,” he said She said at the 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival. “Some of the best moments were moments that didn’t require words, because what was there to say? The scene in the cornfield when we embrace, certain scenes around the square… they are iconic.”
Sands’ title character wreaks havoc in 20th-century Los Angeles after being transported from Boston in 1861 to Sorcerer (1989), and returned for Sorcerer: Armageddon (1993). Bruce Payne played the menacing villain in the 1999 sequel.
The third of five children, Julian Richard Morley Sands was born on January 4, 1958 in West Yorkshire, England. He attended Lord Wandsworth College and the Central School of Speech and Drama in London and appeared in Derek Jarman’s 1979 short film, Broken English, with Marianne Faithfull. (She also worked as an assistant director on this one).
In 1983, Sands appeared in the London Weekend Television miniseries A married manwith Anthony Hopkins, and had a supporting role in Oxford Blues the following year, which saw him break out The extermination campSt.
George was Roger Ebert’s favorite character in A room with a view, he wrote in his review, and admired Sands’ “astonishing” speech to Lucy “in which he explains that there is Love between them. (Not love, but love: you can hear the capital letter in her voice.)
“Lucy mustn’t marry Cecil, she explains, because Cecil doesn’t understand women and will never understand Lucy and only wants her for decoration. George, on the other hand, wants her as her partner in the great adventure of life.
Sands also played British poet Shelley in Ken Russell Gothic (1986), Hungarian composer Franz Liszt in James Lapine’s Unexpectedly (1991), the masked man in a 1998 version of The Phantom of the Opera and an Israeli dance teacher Yes, ballet (2020).
His on-screen resume also included movies Arachnophobia (1990), The locket (2003), Golf in the Kingdom (2010), The girl with the dragon tattoo (2011) e The painted bird (2019) and TV periods Smallville (as Jor-El), 24, The word l, Person of interest, Gotham, Elementary AND The blacklist.
In 2013, he performed on stages from Edinburgh to San Francisco in A celebration of Harold Pinterdirected by Malkovich.
Survivors include his second wife, writer Evgenia Citkowitz, whom he married in 1990, and his three children, Henry, Natalya and Imogen.
A day before his remains were discovered, his family released the first statement since the search began, expressing their gratitude to those “who worked tirelessly” to find him.
“We continue to hold Julian in our hearts with glowing memories of him as a wonderful father, husband, explorer, lover of the natural world and the arts, and as an original and collaborative artist.”
In his interview with Thrive Global, Sands described the feeling he had while hiking.
“It’s about supplication and sacrifice and humility, when you go to these mountains,” he said. “It’s not so much a celebration of oneself, but the eradication of one’s self-awareness. And so during these walks you get lost, you become a container of energy in harmony, hopefully, with your environment.