When news broke back in and around January, 2023 about how actor Julian Sands had disappeared while hiking, I think it's safe to say that many of us feared the worst. Time went by -- as it inevitably does -- and there was no update on the man, so I think those dark thoughts only got a bit more prominent, though unspoken. Alas, word reached us yesterday that his remains were ultimately found -- thank goodness -- but it was as we had feared, and the talented soul had left our world for whatever awaits beyond.
A tall and lean fellow, Sands was particularly effective -- according to his bio on IMDB.com -- in thrillers and Horror, a realm many of us appreciate. A rundown of his professional citations shows that to be true, but he could also do great things in contemporary dramas as well as achieve some wonderful results in voice acting, making his potential boundless.
As for his genre credentials?
While he slipped in a few smaller roles before Warlock (1989), I think most fans recognize the foray into the fantastic from New World Pictures as being his true introduction to Horror. It's a role he returned to in 1993 -- with Warlock: The Armageddon -- where the stakes were raised to include, apparently, all of mankind in the process.
In 1996, he played Ken, a man who came from the future to save the past aboard the SciFi telefilm The Tomorrow Man, sharing the small screen with Giancarlo Esposito, Craig Wasson, and Sydney Walsh. I thought I'd once read that the telefilm was actually the pilot for a television series, but I'm not seeing any indications of that on IMDB.com today, so I could be mistaken.
In 1998, genre legend Dario Argento cast sands to play the seminal 'Phantom' aboard a somewhat bloodier incarnation of The Phantom Of The Opera than its author Gaston Leroux likely ever intended. While a bit luscious visually, the film -- so far as I'm concerned -- is little more than a Horror-flavored period piece, but Sands still turns in a good performance.
In 2005, he joined the TV juggernaut that was the wide, wide world of Stargate for a single episode. However, it was a role he reprised in 2008's Stargate: The Ark Of Truth, one of two telefilms that were produced to round out the popular show's run on television.
And -- dare I miss this one? -- he even joined TV's Smallville for a few episodes, bringing audiences another winning version of Jor-El, Superman's Kryptonian father.
There are more -- many more, in fact -- and I encourage folks to surf on over to the man's IMDB.com page (link) for the full rundown of the man's incredible 156 different screen credits, including some voicework in the world of animation and gaming. He leaves behind an impressive body of work, and maybe there's a little 'something something' from his background that'll tickle your fancy with a good memory today. Wherever he's at, maybe that'll even bring a smile to his wise face.
Thoughts and prayers are extended to the friends, family, and fans of Julian Sands. May he forever rest in peace.