The cause of death has not been reported. However, Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski and the cast of the show had known for a while that Furlan’s health was on the decline. “We kept hoping that she would improve,” Straczynski said. “In a group email sent to the cast a while back, I heard that she might be improving.”
Unfortunately, Straczynski later received a call from Babylon 5 star Peter Jurasik that Furlan’s husband, Goran Gajić, was “bringing her home.”
Furlan was born in what was formerly known as Yugoslavia on September 7, 1955. After graduating from the Academy for Dramatic Arts, she became a member of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb. She continued to work in theater and film while in Yugoslavia through the late 1980s. Furlan then joined the Actors Studio in 1992 after fleeing to New York City to escape the turmoil in Yugoslavia.
She appeared in stage productions in NYC and Los Angeles. From 1993 to 1998, she starred as Minbari Ambassador Delenn in Babylon 5. Additionally, she was in subsequent films associated with the show. Then, from 2004 to 2010, Furlan portrayed the recurring character Danielle Rousseau on Lost. In 2020, Furlan starred in the sci-fi series Space Command as Vonn Odara. According to IMDb, she’d just completed Burning at Both Ends, a drama feature wherein she plays the character of Agnes.
Furlan racked up an impressive 91 film/TV credits throughout her storied career. She’d also spent time working in Croatia even after coming to America in the early 1990s.
You can read Straczynski’s lovely tribute to Furlan below.
Here at Geek Girl Authority, our hearts go out to Furlan’s family, friends, fans, her husband Gajić and son Marko Lav Gajić. She was a light of immeasurable brightness who will be sorely missed. As Straczynski so poignantly stated in his tweet, “we will catch up with her in time … she will have many stories to tell us, and many new roles to share with the universe.”
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
Rest in peace, Mira Furlan.
UPDATE: Entertainment Weekly has since reported that Mira Furlan passed away from complications with West Nile virus. Her manager, Chris Roe, verified this in a statement to EW. “Mira passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 20, following complications from West Nile virus. She died peacefully at her home in Los Angeles, surrounded by her family.”