Human remains that were found on Saturday in the Southern California wilderness have been identified as those of the British actor Julian Sands, who had been missing since January after he went hiking in the area, the authorities said on Tuesday.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement that the remains had been “positively identified” as those of Mr. Sands, and that the cause of death remained under investigation “pending further test results.”
Mr. Sands, 65, of North Hollywood, was an avid hiker and was best known for his role in the critically acclaimed 1986 film “A Room With a View.” The film, an adaptation of the novel by E.M. Forster, regularly makes lists as one of the best British films of all time.
He also appeared in dozens of other films and television shows, including “Arachnophobia,” “Naked Lunch,” “Warlock” and “Ocean’s Thirteen.”
Hikers found the remains Saturday morning in the Mount Baldy area, which is more than 40 miles northeast of Los Angeles, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said.
Mr. Sands, who had a wife and three children, was reported missing in January after he went hiking alone on a trail on Mount Baldy. On hiking websites, the popular trek is described as challenging and strenuous.
Search crews had been combing the area looking for Mr. Sands for months despite their efforts being complicated by dangerous conditions, including heavy rain and snow, some of which lingered into June.
In an update on the search on June 17, the sheriff’s department said that parts of the mountain could still not be reached because of “extreme alpine conditions,” including steep terrain and ravines covered in more than 10 feet of ice and snow.
More than 80 search-and-rescue volunteers, deputies and staff members participated in the search that day. Two helicopters and drone crews were used to check areas inaccessible to searchers on the ground, the sheriff’s department said.
The sheriff’s department had carried out eight searches for Mr. Sands since January, the authorities said, with volunteers looking for more than 500 hours. At the same time, eight other unrelated search-and-rescue operations were also conducted in the region.
Mr. Sands often spoke of his fondness for nature and said in a 2020 interview with The Guardian that he was happiest when close to a mountain summit on a cold morning.
In another interview that same year with Thrive Global, a health and wellness company started by Arianna Huffington, he said he had spent time in mountain ranges in North America and Europe.
Mr. Sands said that people who did not climb mountains assumed it was about ego and a “great heroic sprint” to the summit.
“But actually, it’s the reverse,” he said. “It’s about supplication and sacrifice and humility, when you go to these mountains. 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.”
Lauren McCarthy contributed reporting.