Julian Sands's death confirmed after remains identified from US mountain

Death is still under investigation, pending further test results, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said

Actor Julian Sands at the Venice Film Festival in September 2019. AP
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The death of Julian Sands has been confirmed after the remains found in the San Gabriel mountains in southern California were identified as belonging to the actor, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has told the PA news agency.

The Briton, 65, failed to return from a hike in the Mount Baldy area on January 13 and had been missing for more than five months.

Sands's remains were found in the same area on Saturday by civilian hikers, with a coroner later confirming them to be those of the missing actor.

He was best-known for his breakout role in the 1985 romantic period drama A Room With a View, in which he starred alongside Helena Bonham Carter.

Sands later turned to the horror genre, with appearances in films including Gothic, Warlock and Arachnophobia.

“The identification process for the body located on Mt Baldy on June 24, 2023, has been completed and was positively identified as 65-year-old Julian Sands of North Hollywood,” a statement shared with PA.

“The manner of death is still under investigation, pending further test results.

“We would like to extend our gratitude to all the volunteers that worked tirelessly to try to locate Mr Sands.”

Mount Baldy, Los Angeles County - in pictures

Last week, Sands’s family released a statement saying they were continuing to keep him “in our hearts with bright memories”.

“We are deeply grateful to the search teams and co-ordinators who have worked tirelessly to find Julian,” said a family statement issued on Wednesday by the sheriff’s department.

“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.”

Over five months, search efforts had been continuously hampered by poor conditions in the area and halted in March due to the risk of avalanches.

The sheriff’s department previously said there had been a total of eight searches for Sands by ground and air.

The most recent search had involved “over 80 search and rescue volunteers, deputies, and staff”, supported by two helicopters, and drone crews.

The department said volunteer searcher hours had exceeded 500 hours.

Sands had lived in Los Angeles since 2020.

He was known for his love of the outdoors and hiking in the surrounding areas, and was considered an experienced and competent mountaineer by his friends.

Sands’s hiking partner and fellow actor Kevin Ryan previously told PA that he was “the most advanced hiker I know”.

“It’s what he did. His whole life he was climbing mountains. It was a true passion of his,” Ryan said.

From 1984 to 1987 the actor was married to future Evening Standard and Today editor Sarah Sands, with whom he shared a son.

He also had two daughters with journalist Evgenia Citkowitz, who he married in 1990.

Updated: June 28, 2023, 5:37 AM