Mira Furlan

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Mira Furlan
Mira Furlan by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Furlan at the Phoenix ComiCon in 2013
Born (1955-09-07) September 7, 1955 (age 65)
OccupationActress, singer
(m. 1998)

Mira Furlan (born September 7, 1955) is a Croatian–American actress and singer. Internationally, she is best known for her roles as the Minbari Ambassador Delenn on the science fiction television series Babylon 5 (1993–98), and as Danielle Rousseau on Lost. Also, she appeared in the multiple award-winning films such as When Father Was Away on Business and The Abandoned.

Early life[edit]

Furlan was born to an intellectual and academic family that included a large number of university professors in Zagreb, which was at that time part of Yugoslavia. She was born to a Croatian-Jewish mother,[1][2][3] and a father of Slovene-Croat heritage.

As a child, Furlan was obsessed with American rock and roll music.[4] She became interested in acting as a teenager.[4]

Furlan graduated from the Academy for Dramatic Arts in Zagreb and holds a university degree, equivalent to a B.F.A., in theatre.[2] Simultaneously, she took language classes at the university in Zagreb, becoming fluent in English, German, and French.[4]



Furlan was a member of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb[4] and frequently appeared in Yugoslav television and films.[5] 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.[4] In the late 1980s, she performed in theater productions in both Zagreb and Belgrade.[4]

Furlan became a member of the Actors Studio in 1992 after moving to New York City to flee turmoil in Yugoslavia.[4] 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.[4]

She appeared on the stage in New York City and Los Angeles. She played Minbari Ambassador Delenn for all five seasons of Babylon 5, and some of the associated TV movies. From 2004–10 she played Danielle Rousseau on Lost. In 2009, she appeared on an episode of NCIS, titled "South By Southwest".[5]

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.[6][5]


In the 1980s, Furlan briefly appeared as singer for Le Cinema, a spin-off from the rock band Film.[7] In 1998, she released an album, Songs From Movies That Have Never Been Made.[7][8]


Furlan wrote the play Until Death Do Us Part (Croatian: Dok nas smrt ne razdvoji), which is set in 1970s Zagreb.[9] A collection of her columns in the now-defunct Croatian magazine Feral Tribune was published as the book Totalna rasprodaja in 2010.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Furlan's husband is director Goran Gajić,[4] who is an ethnic Serb.[2][3] He directed her in an episode of Babylon 5 and several plays, including a production of Sophocles' Antigone.[11]

Furlan was active in the Yugoslav feminist movement in the 1980s.[6]

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.[4] 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.[4] An ensuing public smear campaign turned her colleagues and friends against her as she received threatening messages on her answering machine.[4] The couple finally left in November 1991 with what they could carry and moved to New York City.[4]

Furlan gave birth to the couple's first child in 1998.[5]


Selected filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2014 With Mom Jasna
2013 Twice Born Velida
2010 The Abandoned Cica
2010 Cirkus Columbia Lucija
2008 The Tour Sonja
1988 Braća po materi Vranka
1986 The Beauty of Vice Jaglika
1985 When Father Was Away on Business Ankica Vidmar
1985 Horvatov izbor Eva Horvatek
Year Title Role Notes
2016 Just Add Magic The Traveller "Just Add Mamma P", Season 1, Episode 7
2009 NCIS Dina Risi "South by Southwest", Season 6, Episode 17
2008 Vratiće se rode Jagoda
2004–2010 Lost Danielle Rousseau Recurring Role (Season 1–4)
Guest (Season 6): 22 episodes
1997 Spider-Man Silver Sable voice
1993–1998 Babylon 5 Delenn
1990–1991 Bolji život Finka Pašalić
Video Games
Year Title Role Notes
2015 Payday 2 The Butcher Voice and likeness, also appeared in live action trailer


  1. ^ Voices of Yugoslav Jewry. The case of Mira Furlan. Paul Benjamin Gordiejew. January 1999. ISBN 9780791440216. Retrieved December 24, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c ""Lost" Actress Finds New Life in Hollywood". Hillel. April 10, 2006. Archived from the original on May 27, 2012. Retrieved November 20, 2010 – via archive.today.
  3. ^ a b Bloom, Nate (February 24, 2006). "Celebrity Jews". Jweekly. Archived from the original on February 13, 2010. Retrieved May 13, 2013 – via Internet Archive.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Harris, Betsy (October 18, 1992). "Actress's only battle is for her art". The Indianapolis Star. 90 (135). pp. A-1–A-2. Retrieved March 19, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ a b c d "Biography for Mira Furlan". Internet Movie Database. Amazon.com. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
  6. ^ a b Baric, Stephanie (September 12, 2016). "The Unregretted Decisions of Actor Mira Furlan". Lilith. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Mira Furlan na HRT-u posle 17 godina" [Mira Furlan on HRT after 17 years]. Popboks (in Croatian). March 4, 2008. Archived from the original on December 2, 2016. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  8. ^ "Mira Furlan – Songs From Movies That Have Never Been Made". Discogs. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  9. ^ Persic, Vinko (November 2, 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 November 9, 2018.
  10. ^ Derk, Denis (December 19, 2011). "Mira Furlan u Booksi predstavlja knjigu "Totalna rasprodaja"" [Mira Furlan in Booksi presents the book "Total Sale"]. Večernji list (in Croatian). Retrieved January 23, 2012.
  11. ^ Brandes, Philip (September 29, 1995). ""Antigone" Packs Contemporary Bite". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  12. ^ "29. Pulski Filmski Festival". Pula Film Festival (in Croatian). December 30, 2015. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  13. ^ "33. Pulski Filmski Festival". Pula Film Festival (in Croatian). December 30, 2015. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  14. ^ "BaNeFF 2013 Awards". Balkans New Film Festival. February 13, 2013. Retrieved November 9, 2018.

External links[edit]