Mira Furlan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mira Furlan
Mira Furlan by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Furlan at the Phoenix ComiCon in 2013
Born(1955-09-07)7 September 1955
Died20 January 2021(2021-01-20) (aged 65)
  • Actress
  • singer
Years active1976–2020
(m. 1998)
  • Ivan Furlan
  • Branka Weil

Mira Furlan (7 September 1955 – 20 January 2021) was a Croatian actress and singer. Internationally, she was best known for her roles as the Minbari Ambassador Delenn in the science fiction television series Babylon 5 (1993–1998), and as Danielle Rousseau in Lost (2004–2010), and also appeared in multiple award-winning films such as When Father Was Away on Business (1985) and The Abandoned (2010).

Early life[edit]

Furlan was born on 7 September 1955 to an intellectual and academic family that included a large number of university professors in Zagreb, PR Croatia,[1] which was part of Yugoslavia at the time. She was born to Branka Weil, a mother who was of Bosnian-Jewish and Bosnian-Serb descent, and Ivan Furlan, a father of mixed Slovene-Croat descent.[2][3][4][5]

As a child, Furlan was obsessed with American rock and roll music.[6] She became interested in acting as a teenager.[6]

Furlan graduated from the Academy for Dramatic Arts in Zagreb with Bachelor of Fine Arts in theatre.[4] Simultaneously, she took language classes at the university's Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, becoming fluent in English, German, and French.[6]



Furlan was a member of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb[6] and frequently appeared in Yugoslav television and films.[7] She played Ankica Vidmar in the film When Father Was Away on Business, which won the Palme d'Or at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[6] In the late 1980s, she performed in theater productions in both Zagreb and Belgrade.[6]

Furlan became a member of the Actors Studio in 1992 after moving to New York City to flee turmoil in Yugoslavia.[6] Later that year, her theater contacts in the U.S. helped her get the necessary work permits to perform with the Indiana Repertory Theatre as the lead role in Yerma.[6]

She appeared on the stage in New York City and Los Angeles. She played the central ensemble role of Minbari Ambassador Delenn for all five seasons of Babylon 5, and some of the associated TV movies. Between 2004 and 2010 she played the recurring role of Danielle Rousseau on Lost. In 2009, she appeared on an episode of NCIS, titled "South By Southwest".[7]

In 2002, she returned to Croatia after eleven years to take the lead role in Rade Šerbedžija's Ulysses Theatre Company's production of Euripides' Medea.[8][7]


In the 1980s, Furlan briefly appeared as singer for Le Cinema, a spin-off from the rock band Film.[9] In 1998, she released an album, Songs From Movies That Have Never Been Made.[9][10]

Furlan also sang in the band The be five, which produced a single album in 1998, Trying to forget.


Furlan wrote the play Until Death Do Us Part (Croatian: Dok nas smrt ne razdvoji), which is set in 1970s Zagreb.[11] A collection of her columns in the now-defunct Croatian magazine Feral Tribune was published as the book Totalna rasprodaja in 2010.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Furlan's husband was director Goran Gajić,[6] who is an ethnic Serb.[4][5] He directed her in an episode of Babylon 5 and in several plays, including a production of Sophocles' Antigone.[13]

Furlan was active in the Yugoslav feminist movement in the 1980s.[8]

Twice a month during the late 1980s, Furlan made the three-hour commute between Zagreb and Belgrade, where her husband was based, to act in theater productions in both cities.[6] After the Croatian War of Independence began in 1991, she was fired by the Croatian National Theater for refusing to quit acting in a Belgrade theater production.[6] An ensuing public smear campaign turned her colleagues and friends against her as she received threatening messages on her answering machine.[6][14] Furlan wrote a public letter expressing her deep disappointment over the behaviour of her fellow citizens and colleagues and the threats of the nationalists against her.[15] The couple left in November 1991, in the early days of the breakup of Yugoslavia, emigrating to New York City.[6]

Furlan gave birth to the couple's only child, Marko Lav, in 1998.[16]

Illness and death[edit]

Furlan died at her home in Los Angeles on January 20, 2021,[17] at the age of 65, having suffered from complications of West Nile fever in the time leading up to her death.[18][19][20] Upon her death, theater director Ivica Buljan of the Croatian National Theater issued an apology on behalf of the theater for their treatment of Furlan in the early 1990s.[21] A week later, Croatian weekly Globus issued another apology for publishing three feuilletons attacking the actress in 1992 that had an essential role in the public smear campaign.[22]


Selected filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes Ref
1985 Horvatov izbor Eva Horvatek [26]
1985 When Father Was Away on Business Ankica Vidmar [27]
1986 The Beauty of Vice Jaglika [27]
1988 Brothers by Mother Vranka [27][26]
1988 El Camino del Sur Bessi [27][26]
2008 The Tour Sonja [27]
2010 Cirkus Columbia Lucija [26]
2010 The Abandoned Cica [28]
2013 Twice Born Velida [29][27]
2014 With Mum Jasna [30]
2020 Pred nama Jovana Short
2021 Burning at Both Ends Agnes Posthumous release
2021 SAVA voice of Sava www.savadoc.com
Year Title Role Notes Ref
1990–1991 A Better Life Finka Pašalić [31]
1993–1998 Babylon 5 Delenn Main role [29]
1997 Spider-Man Silver Sable voice [32]
2004–2010 Lost Danielle Rousseau Recurring Role (Season 1–4)
Guest (Season 6): 22 episodes
2008 The Storks Will Return Jagoda [31][33]
2009 NCIS Dina Risi "South by Southwest", Season 6, Episode 17 [29]
2010 Najbolje godine Violeta Guest (Season 2): 25 episodes [34]
2016-2017 Just Add Magic The Traveller 6 episodes [27]
2020 Just Add Magic: Mystery City The Traveller Just Add Volume
2020 Space Command Vonn Odara/Evelynn 'Vonn' Odara 5 episodes
2021 Arcane Babette voice, posthumous release
Video Games
Year Title Role Notes
2015 Payday 2 The Butcher[35] Voice and likeness, also appeared in live action trailer
2020 Beyond Blue Irina
2020 Mafia: Definitive Edition Additional Voices


  1. ^ Diaz, Johnny (22 January 2021). "Mira Furlan, Actress on 'Lost' and 'Babylon 5,' Dies at 65". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  2. ^ "2.2 Biographical Information (Mira Furlan)".
  3. ^ Voices of Yugoslav Jewry. The case of Mira Furlan. Paul Benjamin Gordiejew. January 1999. ISBN 9780791440216. Retrieved 24 December 2010.
  4. ^ a b c ""Lost" Actress Finds New Life in Hollywood". Hillel. 10 April 2006. Archived from the original on 27 May 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2010 – via archive.today.
  5. ^ a b Bloom, Nate (24 February 2006). "Celebrity Jews". J. The Jewish News of Northern California. Archived from the original on 13 February 2010. Retrieved 13 May 2013 – via Internet Archive.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Harris, Betsy (18 October 1992). "Actress's only battle is for her art". The Indianapolis Star. Vol. 90, no. 135. pp. A-1–A-2. Retrieved 19 March 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ a b c "Biography for Mira Furlan". Internet Movie Database. Amazon.com. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
  8. ^ a b Baric, Stephanie (12 September 2016). "The Unregretted Decisions of Actor Mira Furlan". Lilith. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Mira Furlan na HRT-u posle 17 godina" [Mira Furlan on HRT after 17 years]. Popboks (in Croatian). 4 March 2008. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  10. ^ "Mira Furlan – Songs From Movies That Have Never Been Made". Discogs. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  11. ^ Persic, Vinko (2 November 2013). "Nisam prihvatila botoks i slične akcije ganjanja vječne mladosti" [I did not accept botox and similar actions of eternal youth]. Glas Slavonije (in Croatian). Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  12. ^ Derk, Denis (19 December 2011). "Mira Furlan u Booksi predstavlja knjigu "Totalna rasprodaja"" [Mira Furlan in Booksi presents the book "Total Sale"]. Večernji list (in Croatian). Retrieved 23 January 2012.
  13. ^ Brandes, Philip (29 September 1995). ""Antigone" Packs Contemporary Bite". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  14. ^ "Oslobođenje - Koji je bio "grijeh" Mire Furlan? - Objavljeni feljtoni kojim su joj pedantno "izvadili utrobu": Težak život lake žene..." www.oslobodjenje.ba (in Bosnian). 26 January 2021. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  15. ^ Mira Furlan – A Letter to my Co-Citizens (Memento of 11 December 2012 in Internet Archive)
  16. ^ Spaić-Kovačić, David (22 January 2021). "Croatian actress Mira Furlan who appeared in Babylon 5 and Lost, dies at 65". N1. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  17. ^ "Babylon 5 Star and Lost Actress Mira Furlan Passes Away". SuperHeroHype. 21 January 2021. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  18. ^ "Mira Furlan: Babylon 5 and Lost actress dies at 65". BBC News. 22 January 2021. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  19. ^ "Umrla je velika glumica Mira Furlan" [The great actress Mira Furlan has died]. N1 HR (in Croatian). 22 January 2021. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  20. ^ Stedman, Alex (22 January 2021). "Mira Furlan, 'Babylon 5' and 'Lost' Actress, Dies at 65". Variety. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  21. ^ "Ravnatelj drame HNK ispričao se Miri Furlan: 'Osjećam sram jer je morala napustiti Zagreb'" [The director of the HNK drama apologized to Mira Furlan: 'I feel ashamed because she had to leave Zagreb']. Večernji list (in Croatian). 23 January 2021. Retrieved 24 January 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  22. ^ "Zagrebački "Globus" izvinio se Miri Furlan". Mondo (in Bosnian). 27 January 2021. Retrieved 28 January 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  23. ^ "29. Pulski Filmski Festival". Pula Film Festival (in Croatian). 30 December 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  24. ^ "33. Pulski Filmski Festival". Pula Film Festival (in Croatian). 30 December 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  25. ^ "BaNeFF 2013 Awards". Balkans New Film Festival. 13 February 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  26. ^ a b c d "Mira Furlan". British Film Institute. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h "Mira Furlan List of Movies and TV Shows". TV Guide. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  28. ^ Simon, Alissa (15 July 2010). "The Abandoned". Variety. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  29. ^ a b c d "Mira Furlan". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  30. ^ Dalton, Stephen (23 August 2013). "With Mom (Sa Mamom): Sarajevo Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  31. ^ a b "Preminula glumica Mira Furlan – 'heroina, krhka i snažna'" (in Serbian). BBC News. 22 January 2021. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  32. ^ White, Adam (22 January 2021). "Mira Furlan death: Lost and Babylon 5 actor dies at 65". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 15 May 2022. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  33. ^ B., E. (3 February 2008). "Mira Furlan posle 17 godina igra u srpskoj seriji". Blic (in Serbian). Archived from the original on 3 June 2012. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  34. ^ "Najbolje godine (TV Series 2009– )". IMDb. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  35. ^ Bernardino, Shiena (13 May 2015). "'PayDay 2: Crimewave Edition' release date for PS4, Xbox One next month". Variety. Retrieved 22 January 2021.

External links[edit]