Julian Sands obituary


Along with his shrewd eyes and his forks of corn-yellow hair, Julian Sands was a pure option to play the valiant, romantic George Emerson, who snatches a kiss from Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham Carter) in a Tuscan poppy discipline in A Room With a View (1985). “I needed him to be actual, not a two-dimensional minor display god,” he stated. “I appreciated him in his lighter, sexier moments, much less so when he was brooding.”

Sands, who has died aged 65 whereas mountaineering in mountains in California, was dashing in that movie, however he may additionally mission a dandyish, effete or sinister high quality. He was blessed with a mellifluous voice and a lean, youthful, fine-boned face, even when, as a toddler, his brothers insisted he resembled a horse. (He agreed.) In James Ivory’s movie of EM Forster’s novel, he was pure heart-throb materials. His participation within the infamous nude bathing scene was no obstacle to the image’s success.

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Julian Sands as George Emerson, and Helena Bonham Carter as Lucy Honeychurch, within the 1985 Service provider Ivory movie A Room With a View. {Photograph}: Goldcrest Movies/Allstar

Previous to that, he had performed the journalist Jon Swain in The Killing Fields (1984), Roland Joffé’s drama concerning the bloody rise of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. The image marked the start of his friendship together with his co-star John Malkovich. “I’d been cautioned by Roland to maintain my distance from John as a result of he was an unstable character,” Sands recalled. “And John had been instructed by Roland to keep away from me, as a result of I used to be a refined, wise one that didn’t need to be distracted. In truth, we bonded immediately.”

Malkovich directed Sands in a one-man present through which he learn Harold Pinter’s poetry. First staged in 2011, the manufacturing had its origins in an event six years earlier when Pinter, affected by oesophageal most cancers, had requested Sands to learn in his stead at a profit occasion in St Stephen Walbrook church within the Metropolis of London. The author “sat within the entrance row together with his stone basilisk stare”, Sands recalled.

Not all his work was so highfalutin, and a great deal of it fell into the class of boisterous, campy enjoyable. In Ken Russell’s Gothic (1986), he performed the poet Shelley, who indulges in intercourse, medication and séances with Lord Byron (Gabriel Byrne) and the longer term Mary Shelley (Natasha Richardson), and is liable to recite verse bare in thunderstorms.

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Julian Sands, left, and John Malkovich cast a lifelong friendship throughout the making of the 1984 movie The Killing Fields, concerning the rise of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. {Photograph}: Snap Stills/Rex

In the same vein however far much less deranged was Impromptu (1991), which introduced collectively different notable Nineteenth-century figures together with George Sand (Judy Davis) and Frederic Chopin (Hugh Grant). Sands, who performed Franz Liszt, described it as “Carry On Composer”.

Born in Otley, West Yorkshire, he was raised in Leeds and Gargrave, close to Skipton; he later described his childhood as “half conservative and half Huckleberry Finn”. His mom, Brenda, was a Tory councillor and main mild of the native novice dramatic society, whereas his father, William, who left when Julian was three, was a soil analyst. Julian made his appearing debut in a neighborhood pantomime on the age of eight.

At 13, he received a scholarship to Lord Wandsworth faculty, Hampshire. He moved to London to review at Central College of Speech and Drama, and whereas there grew to become buddies with Derek Jarman. He performed the Satan in an prolonged promotional video that Jarman directed in 1979 for Marianne Faithfull’s album Damaged English. The function had been supposed for David Bowie, who dropped out on the eleventh hour. “You’re devilish,” Jarman instructed Sands. “You may play it.”

The actor’s first movie look got here in an adaptation of Peter Nichols’s stage comedy Privates on Parade (1983), starring John Cleese and Denis Quilley, from which his one line of dialogue was reduce. There was extra rotten luck when he received the lead in a brand new Tarzan film, just for the financing to fall by means of. It was ultimately filmed as Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984), with Christopher Lambert donning the hallowed loin-cloth.

On tv, he starred with Anthony Hopkins within the miniseries A Married Man (1983). In Oxford Blues (1984), he was a rower butting heads with a Las Vegas parking attendant (Rob Lowe) who has tricked his method into a spot at Oriel School. He was in The Physician and the Devils (1985), impressed by the Burke and Hare case. “I had a roll within the hay with Twiggy which took about 15 takes,” he stated.

Following A Room With a View, he agreed to play the lead in Ivory’s subsequent Forster adaptation, Maurice (1987), earlier than abruptly dropping out and fleeing to the US. Within the course of, he left behind his spouse, the journalist Sarah Sands (nee Harvey), who described him as “stressed” and “dramatic”, and their son, Henry. “I’m not the primary individual to create stability and safety after which dismantle it much more successfully than I created it,” the actor stated.

As soon as in America he took on an array of movie elements. In Warlock (1989), he performed the son of Devil, wreaking havoc in modern-day Los Angeles. Investing this pantomime villain with lip-smacking brio, he was likened by the Washington Put up to a “hell-bent Peter Pan” and nominated for finest actor within the Fangoria Chainsaw awards. He reprised the function in Warlock: The Armageddon (1993).

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Julian Sands as an entomologist in Arachnophobia, 1990. {Photograph}: Buena Vista/Allstar

As an entomologist in Arachnophobia (1990), he was known as upon to have as many as 100 spiders crawling throughout his face. Alternating these mainstream initiatives with arthouse ones, he performed a diplomat in pre-war Poland in Krzysztof Zanussi’s Wherever You Are … (1988) and a monk in Evening Solar (1990), the Taviani brothers’ adaptation of Tolstoy’s brief story Father Sergius.

For the Canadian horror director David Cronenberg, he starred within the warped and witty Bare Lunch (1991), which disproved those that had declared William S Burroughs’s unique novel unfilmable. Simply as outré however much less achieved was Boxing Helena (1993), directed by Jennifer Lynch, daughter of David. Sands performed a surgeon who retains a lady captive by making her a quadruple amputee.

After starring as a younger classics trainer in his buddy Mike Figgis’s movie of Terence Rattigan’s The Browning Model (1994), Sands labored an additional six instances with that director, showing in his motion pictures even when he was an unorthodox alternative for the job in hand. One instance was the a part of a menacing Latvian pimp in Leaving Las Vegas (1996).

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Julian Sands, left, and Peter Weller in David Cronenberg’s warped and witty Bare Lunch, 1991. {Photograph}: Everett Assortment Inc/Alamy

Later roles embody a mysteriously unblemished Phantom in Dario Argento’s model of The Phantom of the Opera (1998), Louis XIV (whom Sands described as “the primary supermodel”) in Joffé’s Vatel (2000), a criminal offense kingpin named Snakehead within the Jackie Chan automobile The Medallion (2003), a pc safety wizard within the comedian caper Ocean’s 13 (2007), a youthful model of the businessman performed by Christopher Plummer in David Fincher’s tackle The Woman With the Dragon Tattoo (2011) and a sadistic paedophile within the gruelling wartime odyssey The Painted Hen (2019).

On tv, he was a Russian entrepreneur within the fifth season of 24 (2006) and the hero’s father, Jor-El, in two episodes of the Superman spin-off Smallville (2009). For the BBC, he performed two very totally different actors in factually based mostly one-off specials: first Laurence Olivier in Kenneth Tynan: In Reward of Hardcore (2005), then John Le Mesurier in We’re Doomed! The Dad’s Military Story (2015).

His latest work contains Benediction, Terence Davies’s haunting research of Siegfried Sassoon, and the thriller The Survivalist (each 2021), which discovered him again within the firm of Malkovich. One among a number of titles nonetheless awaiting launch is the drama Double Soul (2023) starring F Murray Abraham and Paz Vega.

Sands by no means stopped wandering, strolling, working and climbing. “I’m on a perpetual Grand Tour,” he stated in 2000. Requested in 2018 about his eclectic profession, he defined: “I used to be in search of one thing unique, issues that took me out of myself. I believe I discovered myself somewhat boring.”

He was reported lacking whereas out within the San Gabriel mountains, north of Los Angeles, in mid-January 2023. His stays had been present in June.

In 1990 he married Evgenia Citkowitz. She survives him, together with their two daughters, Imogen and Natalya, and his son.


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