Her Twitter account announced the news on Thursday, and “Babylon 5” creator J. Michael Straczynski posted a tribute to the actress later that night.
— Mira Furlan (@FurlanMira) January 22, 2021
While a cause of death has yet not been revealed, Straczynski said the cast and crew of “Babylon 5” 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.”
However, Straczynski said he later got the call from “Babylon 5” co-star Peter Jurasik that Furlan’s husband, director Goran Gajić, was “bringing her home.”
“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,” he wrote. “The cast members with whom she was especially close since the show’s end will need room to process this moment, so please be gentle if they are unresponsive for a time. We have been down this road too often, and it only gets harder.”
It is a night of great sadness, for our friend and comrade had gone down the road where we cannot reach her. But as with all things, we will catch up with her in time, and I believe she will have many stories to tell us, and many new roles to share with the universe. pic.twitter.com/HyQlqyC19v
— J. Michael Straczynski (@straczynski) January 22, 2021
Furlan was born in the former Yugoslavia, where she had a number of stage roles and was part of the Croatian National Theatre, and emigrated to the U.S. in 1991. She joined space opera “Babylon 5” as Delenn, the Minbari ambassador to the titular space station, in 1993, and would go on to star in the series for its full five seasons. In 2004, she made her debut in ABC’s megahit “Lost” as Danielle Rousseau, a scientist who’d been shipwrecked on the show’s mysterious island 16 years before the crash of the Oceanic Flight 815. She recurred throughout the series over its next few seasons.
Furlan continued to act through last year, and racked up dozens of credits across film and TV throughout her life. Her film credits include Emir Kusturica’s Oscar-nominated “When Father Was Away on Business,” “Beauty of Vice,” “Three For Happiness” and “In the Jaws of Life.”
She is survived by Gajić and their son, Marko Lav Gajić.