The Man From Nowhere

Robert Welch II
3 min readAug 25, 2023

He had the looks and talent to be the leading man but was often relegated to playing the villain. One of the best character actors of his generation if not of all time. Tall, blonde almost white hair and fair-skinned, with a leanness that made him seem even taller. Julian Sands wide eyes and enigmatic sometimes imposingly shuddery looks led him often to play the mysterious man in a white suit and hat who showed up in the middle of the story and seemed to come from nowhere. In A Room With A View, he played the romantic lead opposite Helena Bonham Carter in the Merchant Ivory classical period drama that brought him full attention as an actor to be reckoned with. His sometimes-chilling appearance cast him in the Warlock series of Horror films playing an evil warlock who travels from the 17th century to modern times, in search of the pages of the Devil’s bible, which, when assembled together, will reveal God’s true name, and allow creation to be undone. Hot on his heels is a witch-hunter played by the incomparable Richard E. Grant. Warlock is a fun horror series of films and Sands is considered a legend within the fanbase of Horror. Sands did many other Horror films and was Author Anne Rice’s choice to play The Vampire Lestat in the film adaptation of her iconic 1976 Vampire novel Interview With The Vampire a role that went to Tom Cruise. Never a star of the magnitude of Tom Cruise Sands nevertheless left his undeniable thumbprint on the landscape of film if not in the cement in the Hollywood walk of fame. Sands also had a profound sense for humor and developed a fluid niche for comedy. His role as the villain in the 1986 Cindy Lauper vehicle about psychics “Vibes” paired him with Three actors astute at Comedy. Along with Lauper, Jeff Goldblum, and Peter Falk Sands more than held his own as the man who stole Lauper’s heart and then tried to steal the treasure from her. Playing Elizabeth Shue’s pimp in Director Mike Figgis’ dark ode to excess and alcohol Leaving Las Vegas Sands flaunted what was one of his traits a kind of Jeremy Irons, James Spader dark and kinky sexuality. Something he displayed in films like Boxing Helena, Gothic, Mercy, Vatel. Sands worked steadily in film and television playing a vast range of parts from the early 1980’s to the four films he made before his disappearance and are all set for release later this year. The truth is Sands was about as far away from the characters he played as one could be. His characters are often lost men trying to hide or discover who they are before catastrophic outcomes conclude and devour them. As an actor and in his personal life Sands by all accounts seemed to know exactly who he was and what he was capable of. An avid runner and mountain climber and hiker who often went off on lone voyages and journeys in the mountains. He disappeared on January 13, 2023, after going for a hike near the Mt. Baldy area of California’s San Bernardino Mountains. Local authorities and search and rescue teams directed over six weeks of numerous ground and aerial searches but came up empty as Winter storms established a major obstacle in finding Sands. The prospects of finding Julian Sands are dim and where he ended up may never be uncovered but we do have plenty of light he left behind to know what led the man from nowhere to nowhere.

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Robert Welch II

Movies, Books, Music, Art & Literature and Politics. Opinionated Social Commentary