British film and TV actor goes missing while hiking in Californian mountains

British actor Julian Sands has gone missing while hiking in Californian mountains.

The 65-year-old star of several Oscar-nominated films disappeared last Friday evening in southern California.

He was reported missing by his wife when he did not return home from hiking on Mount Baldy in the San Gabriel mountains, which has been experiencing freezing temperatues and bad weather conditions in recent days.

Teams have been searching for him since the weekend but avalanche risks and trail conditions meant ground crews were pulled off the mountain on Saturday evening.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s department said in a statement: “We continue to search by helicopter and drones when the weather permits.”

The spokesperson added that additional ground searches would be scheduled when the weather improves and conditions were safer for rescue crews.

Mr Sands, who grew up in Yorkshire, is known for his roles in Arachnophobia, Leaving Las Vegas and Warlock – as well as TV appearances on 24, Smallville and Banshee.

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He has lived in Los Angeles since 2020, and most recently played the chief medical officer in the 2021 drama Benediction starring Jack Lowden and Peter Capaldi.

In 2011, he developed a show with John Malkovich for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and starred in the Oscar-nominated English-language version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo with Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara.

He appeared opposite Helena Bonham Carter in the 1985 James Ivory film A Room with a View.

Over the course of his four-decade career, he has appeared in more than 150 movies and television show.

From 1984 to 1987, he was married to journalist Sarah Sands, who has previously edited the Evening Standard and BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. They have one son together.

Mr Sands also shares two daughters with journalist Evgenia Citkowitz. They married in 1990.

He told the Guardian in 2018 that he was fixated with mountain climbing and being more adventurous as he grew older.

“The truth is, once you have been around long enough and have some experience, confidence and independence, there is a tremendous letting go of the things that are intrusive in your career: ambition, narcissism, jealousy, vanity, insecurity. You can spend a lot of time trying to stay a young actor. It doesn’t allow for emotional maturity. It’s infantilising,” he said.

Mount Baldy is a 10,000ft peak located northeast of Los Angeles in the Angeles National Forest.

The sheriff’s department said two people died adevnturing in the area in recent weeks, with its search and rescue teams responding to 14 emergency calls.

They also urged hikers to “think twice and heed warnings” following a string of intense winter storms that have brought flooding and major snowfall to California.

Authorities are also understood to be searching for another missing hiker who disappeared in same area where Mr Sands was last seen.

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