Julian Sands’ primary cause of death deemed ‘undetermined’ by authorities

Julian Sands poses against a turquoise backdrop in a brown blazer and a blue shirt
Julian Sands was confirmed dead in late June after going missing near Mt. Baldy in January. He was 65.
(Arthur Mola / Invision / Associated Press)
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The cause of death for British actor Julian Sands, who went missing in California’s San Gabriel Mountains, has been deemed “undetermined” by San Bernardino County officials.

Officials were unable to determine the cause of death “due to the condition of the body,” a public information officer for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department told People magazine Monday, adding that such an outcome “is common when dealing with cases of this type.”

“This is the final determination,” a spokesperson for the sheriff’s department said in a statement provided to CBS News.


The “Room With a View” star was confirmed dead June 27, five months after he was reported missing Jan. 13 near the Mt. Baldy area. He was 65.

British actor Julian Sands, known for ‘A Room With a View’ and ‘Warlock,’ was found dead after going missing in the San Gabriel Mountains in January.

June 27, 2023

In January, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department launched a search to recover Sands, who was also known for his work in films “Warlock” and “The Killing Fields.” In the search’s first months, storms blanketed Mt. Baldy with snow, hindering crew efforts on what is considered one of the most dangerous mountains in the U.S.

The sheriff’s department resumed its search efforts June 20. Four days later, hikers discovered human remains in the Mt. Baldy wilderness and notified authorities. On June 27, the the San Bernardino County coroner’s office confirmed the remains belonged to Sands.

Julian Sands’ family shared a statement remembering the “wonderful” actor a day after the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department resumed its search efforts.

June 21, 2023

In a statement shared with The Times, Sands’ manager, Sarah Jackson, said the actor — who was an avid mountaineer — “was a great friend and client.”

“He chose interesting projects that mattered to him and was adored by everyone who worked with him,” Jackson said. “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.”

Born Jan. 4, 1958, in the United Kingdom, Sands began his professional acting career with minor roles in films including “Privates on Parade” and “Oxford Blues.” He wooed audiences in 1985’s “A Room With a View,” in which he starred alongside Maggie Smith, Denholm Elliott and Helena Bonham Carter.


The late actor appeared in Oscar fare such as “The Killing Fields” and “A Room With a View,” plus the crowd-pleasers “Warlock” and “Arachnophobia.”

June 27, 2023

After Sands played Bonham Carter’s love interest, more offers — a key role in Ken Russell’s “Gothic,” spots alongside Jodie Foster and Isabella Rossellini in “Siesta” — began rolling in. In 1989, Sands starred in the title role of Steve Miner‘s “Warlock.”

He was also known for films “Naked Lunch,” “Boxing Helena” and “Arachnophobia.” Sands’ television credits include “24,” “The Blacklist,” “Banshee” and “Gotham.”

Reflecting on the minor roles that helped him break through (including a part in Roland Joffé’s Oscar-nominated “The Killing Fields”), Sands told The Times in 1987 that he wasn’t expecting much to come of them.

Mt. Baldy towers over Southern California, beautifully decked with snow. Easy access helps make it one of the three deadliest peaks in the U.S. This winter, rescue crews have been busy.

Feb. 2, 2023

“The role was so tiny I’m surprised that people even remember me,” he said. “But they seem to, which is gratifying.”

Sands is survived by wife Evgenia, daughters Natalya and Imogen, son Henry Sands and four brothers.

Times staff writer Christi Carras contributed to this report.