The news was confirmed last night by Furlan’s own social media accounts, with a message shared from the actress reflecting on her life nearing its end, evoking Delenn’s remark that we are all “star stuff” from the Babylon 5 season two episode “A Distant Star.”
She wrote, “I look at the stars. It’s a clear night and the Milky Way seems so near. That’s where I’ll be going soon. ‘We’re all star stuff,’ I suddenly remember Delenn’s line from Joe’s script. Not a bad prospect. I am not afraid. In the meantime, let me close my eyes and sense the beauty around me. And take that breath under the dark sky full of stars. Breathe in. Breathe out. That’s all.”
— Mira Furlan (@FurlanMira) January 22, 2021
Although no cause of death was announced, Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski acknowledged that the actress had been suffering from a long-term illness while paying tribute to her.
“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,” Straczynski’s tribute reads in part. “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
Making her name on stage and screen in her home country Yugoslavia before emigrating to the U.S. in the early ‘90s, Furlan’s breakout role in Western TV came in playing Delenn, the Minbari Ambassador to the titular space station in cult classic Babylon 5, playing the role across all five seasons. But she was also known for other genre roles like Danielle Rousseau in the first four seasons of Lost, as well as Silver Sable in the 1994 Spider-Man animated series. Furlan was still working as recently as last year, appearing in the sci-fi web series Space Command: Redemption as Vonn Odara alongside other famous sci-fi faces like Robert Picardo, Doug Jones, and Nichelle Nichols.
Furlan is survived by her husband and son, and our thoughts are with her family, friends, and colleagues in this tragic time.