Julian Sands has been remembered as “passionate, earnest and sweet” by his ex-wife.
The 65-year-old ‘Leaving Las Vegas’ actor’s body was discovered by hikers in June near Mount Baldy around six months after he went missing during a trek on the then-snow-covered area of the San Gabriel Mountains, California – and his cause of death was ruled as “undetermined” due to the condition of his remains.
His former wife Sarah Sands, 62, who was married to the star from 1984 to 1987 and had a son with him, has now told The Times she has fond memories of being pregnant with their boy while he filmed ‘A Room with a View’ a year into their marriage.
She said in reference to the famous scene in the movie when Julian’s character George runs across a Tuscan poppy field to seize Helena Bonham Carter in a passionate clinch: “That character was like Julian in a lot of ways. He was passionate and earnest and sweet, and very moving.
“I was there during the filming. I was very pregnant, wandering off into Florence, which is such a beautiful, romantic place.
“It seemed to be a hiatus of happiness. Everyone involved was enormously happy.”
But she remembered Julian as moody, adding: “I think that’s what Julian would have reacted against. He was very bad at contentment.
“He was very bad at sunrises. Sunsets used to really annoy him, he would storm off… and that was punk, the period I met him.
“There was this contradiction within him. He was very loyal. He came back to be at my dad’s funeral.”
Journalist, writer and former BBC radio editor Sarah, who went on to have two more children with her second husband Kim Fletcher, 66, added she “had to come to terms with the unknown” when the late actor went missing in the mountains of California.
The mum-of-three, whose son with Julian is named Henry and is now 37, told how she and their boy fielded questions about Julian during the months when his body was unrecovered in the mountains.
It included a period when Henry left his uncle’s funeral early to avoid questions about the search for his father.
Sarah, who used to edit BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ show, added: “The only thing you could say to Henry that day was, ‘Have you any news?’
“That’s all he would have heard, so he slipped away from that funeral afterwards.
“That’s the thing when people go missing: there’s no outlet for what is natural, the grief and the commemoration.
“That sense of ‘freezing into extinction’. You have to come to terms with the unknown and the mystery… the solace of the natural world.
“For my son, his way of dealing with it was to imagine his father as part of the mountain in some way. That’s where he had a right to be.”
Sarah previously told the Daily Mail ‘The Killing Fields’ star Julian was someone who “always had to take the hard path”.
She added: “Even at the end he sought the challenge. That was why he pushed himself beyond the limits of human endurance on the mountain.”