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Actor Julian Sands confirmed dead five months after California mountain hike

British actor Julian Sands in 2013 at LA 'Forbidden Fruit' event to mark readings from banned literature
British actor Julian Sands in 2013 at LA 'Forbidden Fruit' event to mark readings from banned literature Copyright Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Copyright Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
By Tokunbo SalakoAP
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US authorities have confirmed the death of British actor Julian Sands five months after he went missing while hiking in California mountains.

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The death of British actor Julian Sands has been confirmed three days after human remains where found in the southern California hills where he disappeared five months ago. He was 65.

Sands, was an avid hiker and mountaineer, who lived in Los Angeles, He was reported missing January 13 after setting out on a hike near Mount Baldy, east of Los Angeles. The region was hit hard by severe storms during winter.

An investigation has now confirmed that human remains discovered in wilderness on Saturday are those of the actor. Authorities say an autopsy has been conducted, but further test results are needed before the cause of death can be determined.

Crews aided by drones and helicopters had searched for him several times, but, severely hampered by wintry conditions that lasted through spring, no sign of him was found until the civilian hikers came upon him.

Sands, who was born, raised and began acting in England, worked constantly in film and television, amassing more than 150 credits in a 40-year career. During a 10-year span from 1985 to 1995, he played major roles in a series of acclaimed films.

After studying at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, Sands embarked on a career in stage and film, playing small parts in films including “Oxford Blues” and “The Killing Fields.” He landed the starring role of George Emerson, who falls in love with Helena Bonham Carter's Lucy Honeychurch while on holiday in Tuscany, in the 1985 British romance, “A Room With a View.”

The film from director James Ivory and producer Ismail Merchant won the British Academy of Film and Television Arts award for best film, and was nominated for eight Oscars, winning three.

In the wake of its success, Sands moved to the United States to pursue a career in Hollywood.

He played the title role in the 1989 horror fantasy “Warlock” and its sequel. In the 1990 horror comedy “Arachnophobia,” with Jeff Daniels and John Goodman, Sands played an entomologist specializing in spiders.

He also appeared as a guest star or in recurring roles on TV series including “24,” “Medici,” “Smallville,” “Dexter,” “Gotham” and “Elementary.” His final film was 2022's “The Ghosts of Monday.”

On Friday, his family released its first statement since Sands' disappearance.

"We continue to hold Julian in our hearts with bright memories of him as a wonderful father, husband, explorer, lover of the natural world and the arts, and as an original and collaborative performer," the statement said.

Sands touted his love of the outdoors in a 2020 interview with the Guardian newspaper, saying he was happiest when “close to a mountain summit on a glorious cold morning" and that his biggest dream was scaling “a remote peak in the high Himalayas, such as Makalu.”

He is survived by his wife journalist Evgenia Citkowitz and three adult children.

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