Mira Furlan Dies: ‘Babylon 5’ & ‘Lost’ Actress Was 65

Mira Furlan, who played Minbari Ambassador Delenn on the sci-fi drama series Babylon 5 and recurred on Lost, died Jan. 20. She was 65.

Warner Bros.

Furlan’s death was announced by her official Twitter account and confirmed by Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski, who paid tribute to the accomplished actress.

“It is a night of great sadness, for our friend and comrade had gone down the road where we cannot reach her,” he wrote. “Mira was a good and kind woman, a stunningly talented performer and a friend to everyone in the cast and crew of Babylon 5, and we are all devastated by the news.

Born in the Croatian capital Zagreb on September 7, 1955, Furlan was a well-known, award-winning theater, film and TV actress in the former Yugoslavia. She starred in numerous plays, TV series and films, including Emir Kusturica’s Palme d’Or-winning and Oscar-nominated 1985 film When Father Was Away on Business.

Furlan emigrated to the U.S. with her husband in November 1991, during the early stages of the Croatian War of Independence, one of several conflicts that led to the breakup of the Yugoslavian federation. According to Straczynski, Furlan had been receiving death threats over her continuing travel across the disintegrating country with a theater troupe because, as she put it, “art should have no borders.” 

Upon her arrival in the U.S., Furlan quickly landed the role of Ambassador Delenn in Babylon 5, which ran for five seasons from 1994-98 — the first four in syndication and the final one on TNT.

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Following the end of the Yugoslav Wars in 2001, Furlan started traveling back and forth between Hollywood and Croatia, acting in film and TV projects in both countries. In the U.S., she played Danielle Rousseau on ABC’s Lost. Her series credits also include Just Add Magic and Spider-Man: The Animated Series.

No cause of death was revealed by Straczynski, who wrote, “We’ve known for some time now that Mira’s health was failing … and have been all dreading this day.”

Furlan’s Twitter account shared what appear to be recent thoughts by her about life coming to an end. Fittingly, while looking at the stars “where I’ll be going soon,” Furlan evoked her famous Babylon 5 character. “‘We’re all star stuff’, I suddenly remember Delenn’s line from Joe’s script,” she said.

Furlan is survived by her husband, Goran Gajic, and their son.