Julian Sands's friends 'hoping for a miracle' after actor goes missing in Californian mountains
Friends of actor Julian Sands said on Thursday night they were "hoping for a miracle" after the "awful news" that the British actor went missing after a hiking trip in southern California.
The 65-year-old has been missing in the San Gabriel mountains since Friday evening and searches have continued for a week.
Rescuers said the operation in the snowy mountain range had been hampered by bad weather.
A ground operation was forced to halt its search last weekend due to trail conditions and the risk of avalanches, but helicopters and drones have been deployed.
Sands, 65, was in the Baldy Bowl area of Mount Baldy, outside Los Angeles.
A spokesman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said: "We will schedule another ground search when the weather improves and it is safe for our ground crews.
"It is our recommendation that people stay away from that area. It is extremely dangerous and even experienced hikers are getting in trouble."
California has had three weeks of torrential rains and heavy snowfall leading to flooding and mudslides.
Sands first made a name for himself in the 1985 film "Room with a View," starring Helena Bonham Carter, Sir Daniel Day-Lewis, Dame Judi Dench and Dame Maggie Smith.
The actor also starred in "Leaving Las Vegas" in 1995, and has made TV appearances in "24" and "Smallville".
After the news that he was missing broke, "All Creatures Great and Small" actor Samuel West wrote on Twitter: "Please, please let Julian Sands be okay. A friend and an inspiration. Awful news."
Film producer Cassian Elwes said:
Life is fleeting and precious
— cassian elwes (@cassianelwes) January 19, 2023
Actors Rufus Sewell, Barbara Crampton, Frances Fisher and Elizabeth Perkins also shared their hope that Sands would be found.
Sewell wrote: "God, I really hope he's ok."
The sheriff's spokesman said: "We continue to search by helicopter and drones when the weather permits."
He said the recent storms had brought "snow and ice conditions".
Two people died while adventuring up the mountains in recent weeks and rescuers are still looking for another missing
California resident, Bob Gregory, who was hiking at Crystal Lake on the same mountain range where Sands was last seen.
The sheriff's department said its search and rescue teams had responded to 14 calls on Mount Baldy and in the surrounding area over the last four weeks.
Sands was born in Yorkshire and has lived in North Hollywood in California since 2020.
He is a keen outdoorsman and has previously spoken about his love of nature, his "wonderful outdoor lifestyle" and how he has climbed mountains all over the world.
Sands told Thrive Global during the coronavirus lockdowns that his outdoor challenges were "about supplication and sacrifice and humility".
He said: "It’s not so much a celebration of oneself but the eradication of one’s self-consciousness.
"And so on these walks you lose yourself, you become a vessel of energy in harmony hopefully with your environment."
He added: "I mean, two days ago, I was just an old guy begging people for water at a trail head in the Santa Monica mountains. Who cares if you’re a film person, I was just someone very grateful for the kindness of strangers."
Friends and family had been aware Sands was missing but only made his identity public on Thursday.
Actor Jim Piddock called Sands a "wonderfully talented and unique man and a delightful, generous friend," and added that he was "hoping for a miracle".