Mira Furlan Dies; Star of Babylon 5 and Lost Was 65

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For five seasons and multiple movies, Mira Furlan starred as Delenn on the landmark science fiction series, Babylon 5.

She is also well known for her role as Danielle Rousseau on Lost.

Mira has now passed away.

The beloved and talented actress was 65.

Mira Furlan in Geneva

Mira Furlan passed away on Wednesday, January 20.

She is survived by her husband, director Goran Gajic, and their son, Marko Lav Gajic.

The news broke as her official Twitter account shared the news late on Thursday, followed by her friend and former showrunner J. Michael Straczynski’s moving tribute.

Mira Furlan tweet 21 January 2021

The Twitter account shared a quote from Mira — one made in contemplation of her own death.

“I look at the stars. It’s a clear night and the Milky Way seems so near,” she said. “That’s where I’ll be going soon.”

“‘We’re all star stuff,'” Mira quoted. “I suddenly remember Delenn’s line from Joe’s script. Not a bad prospect. I am not afraid.”

Mira Furlan - final statement

“In the meantime, let me close my eyes and sense the beauty around me,” Mira stated.

“And,” she continued, “take that breath under the dark sky full of stars.”

“Breathe in. Breathe out. That is all,” Mira’s statement concluded.

Mira Furlan - candid photo from twitter

Babylon 5 creator, writer, and showrunner J. Michael Straczynski posted a powerful tribute to this dearly departed actress.

He acknowledged that he and others close to her had “known for some time now that Mira’s health was fading.”

“We kept hoping that she would improve,” he wrote. “In a group email sent to the cast a while back, I heard that she might be improving.”

More recently, however, he received a call from another Babylon 5 star, Peter Jurasik, who wrote that Mira’s husband Goran was “bringing her home.”

“Mira was a good and kind woman,” JMS wrote, “a stunningly talented performer, and a friend to everyone in the cast and crew of Babylon 5.”

“And,” he acknowledged, “we are all devastated by the news.”

Mira Furlan in Memphis

“The cast members with whom she was especially close since the show’s end will need room to process this moment,” he wrote.

He then asked: “So please be gentle if they are unresponsive for a time.”

“We have been down this road too often, and it only gets harder,” he added, in reference to other departed stars like Andreas Katsulas, Richard Biggs, Jeff Conaway, Michael O’Hare, Jerry Doyle, and Stephen Furst.

Mira Furlan with Babylon 5 cast members (2015)

Mira was born on September 7, 1955.

She performed as part of the Croatian National Theatre even as Yugoslavia was being torn in two by civil war.

As J. Michael Straczynski (“Joe” in her final statement) recalled in his tribute, she had toured with the group on both sides of the conflict, despite death threats on either side.

J. Michael Straczynski tweet on Mira Furlan passing

Mira would later explain to Joe: “Art should not have borders.”

This was the passion that drove her, and informed her in her legendary role as Delenn on Babylon 5, especially when events in the script hit too close to home.

As the creators of The Expanse have acknowledged, every science fiction series from the past two decades owes a debt to Babylon 5 for redefining the genre.

Delenn Babylon 5 promo (The Lost Tales)

Babylon 5 has sometimes languished in relative obscurity as far as mainstream viewing audiences go, in part because Warner Bros have at times seemed reluctant to put the show into real circulation.

That will change in mere weeks, as the science fiction staple will be joining the streaming service, HBO Max, on a hopefully permanent basis.

As those of us who have been fans for 25 years and first-time viewers alike watch Mira’s captivating performance, we will also mourn her passing. The world has lost a passionate artist.

 

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