The mystery of what happened to missing actor Julian Sands has been solved, as the actor’s remains were reportedly found by hikers near Mount Baldy — where he disappeared on a hike in January. Cause of death is still pending but it is being confirmed, as feared, that Sands has passed away.
Deadline obtained the statement issued by the Sheriff’s Office of San Bernardino, California, giving light to the update. It reads, “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. The manner of death is still under investigation, pending further test results.”
The statement continues, “We would like to extend our gratitude to all the volunteers that worked tirelessly to locate Mr. Sands… On Saturday, June 24, 2023, at about 10:00 a.m., civilian hikers contacted the Fontana Sheriff’s Station after they discovered human remains in the Mount Baldy wilderness. Fontana Station deputies, along with the Sheriff’s Department’s Emergency Operations Division, responded to the scene.”
It added, “The decedent was transported to the Coroner’s Office, pending positive identification. Identification should be completed next week at which time we will update this press release. No further details are available at this time.” Sands, an avid outdoorsman, went missing in January as the winter weather got worse. Searches had to be called off due to conditions.
His family provided a comment as well, saying, “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.” Sands plied his trade in both film and TV for close to 40 years.
He began his career appearing in Oxford Blues, The Killing Fields, and A Room With A View beside Helena Bonham Carter. In the late 1980s, Sands made his name as a cult-film actor by starring in Warlock and its sequel, Warlock: The Armageddon. In the ’90s, he had supporting roles in the thrillers Arachnophobia, Naked Lunch, and Boxing Helena.
Most movie buffs will know him, however, for playing Yuri in Leaving Las Vegas, which won Nicolas Cage an Oscar for his lead performance. Sands also worked with Jackie Chan in The Medallion and filled voice duties on the comedic martial artist’s animated series, Jackie Chan Adventures. His small-screen credits further included recurring roles on 24 and Stargate SG-1.
For fans of Smallville, the late actor will be fondly remembered for becoming the face of Clark Kent’s Kryptonian father Jor-El during the show’s final years. Jor-El was portrayed by former Zod Terrence Stamp as a ghostly, but commanding, AI voice until Sands showed up to prove the genius scientist was fatherly and possessed a conscience in that universe.