Human remains found in a California mountain area are those of British actor Julian Sands, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has confirmed.
It is more than five months since the 65-year-old was reported missing in the Mount Baldy region of the San Gabriel mountains.
Hikers found the remains on Saturday morning, with a coroner now positively identifying them as belonging to Sands.
A statement released by the sheriff’s department said: “The identification process for the body located on Mt Baldy on 24 June, 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.
“We would like to extend our gratitude to all the volunteers that worked tirelessly to try to locate Mr Sands.”
Sands, a keen hiker and mountaineer, was reported missing on 13 January after he failed to return from a trek in the area.
Last week, the actor’s family released a statement via the sheriff’s department, in which they said: “We are deeply grateful to the search teams and co-ordinators who have worked tirelessly to find Julian.
“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’ agent, Sarah Jackson, said: “Julian was a great friend and client. He chose interesting projects that mattered to him and was adored by everyone who worked with him.
“He was a passionate climber, and we draw consolation from knowing that he passed in a place he loved, doing what he loved. We are filled with the most beautiful memories.”
The Yorkshire-born actor was best known for his roles in films including A Room With A View, Arachnophobia, Leaving Las Vegas and Warlock, as well as TV appearances in 24, Smallville and Banshee.
In recent years, he had appeared in one-man stage shows reciting the poetry of Harold Pinter, John Keats and Percy Shelley.
Giving a newspaper interview in 2020, Sands said he was happiest when he was “close to a mountain summit on a glorious cold morning”.
He also recalled a brush with death during a climb in the Andes in the early 1990s when he got caught in a storm above 20,000 feet with three others.
“We were all in a very bad way,” he told The Guardian. “Some guys close to us perished. We were lucky.”
In a 2020 interview with Thrive Global, Sands said climbing was not about ego or a “great heroic sprint for the summit”.
Instead, it was about “supplication and sacrifice and humility”.
He added: “It’s not so much a celebration of oneself but the eradication of one’s self-consciousness.
“And so on these walks you lose yourself, you become a vessel of energy in harmony hopefully with your environment.”
Sands was the middle child of five brothers raised by a single mother.
He had been married since 1990 to journalist Evgenia Citkowitz, with whom he had two adult daughters.
Prior to that, between 1984 and 1987, he was married to author and journalist Sarah Harvey, with whom he had a son.