Mira Furlan’s Cause of Death: How Did the ‘Lost’ Actress Die?

Mira Furlan died

Getty Actress Mira Furlan died on January 20, 2021 at age 65.

Mira Furlan, best known for playing the role Minbari Ambassador Delenn on the hit ’90s sci-fi series Babylon 5 and Danielle Rousseau on Lost, died on January 20, 2021, which was first announced by the actress’ official Twitter account. She was 65.

Furlan’s cause of death stemmed from her battle with West Nile Virus, her family told BBC and released the following statement:

“It is with great sadness that I confirm the passing of Mira Furlan. She was a woman full of kindness, strength and compassion. She died peacefully at her home in Los Angeles, surrounded by her family. We will all continue to celebrate her life and legacy, and know she’ll always be here with us.”

Babylon 5 creator J Michael Straczynski wrote a heartfelt letter following the Croatian actress’ death. He tweeted on January 21:

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.

mira furlan cause of death

GettyCroatian actress Mira Furlan poses for the media at the opening ceremony of 16th Sarajevo Film Festival, in Sarajevo, on July 23, 2010

Straczynski mentioned in his tribute that he 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.”

Furlan, who was born in Yugoslavia, is survived by her husband, Goran Gajic, and their son, Marko Lav Gajic, 22.

How Do You Catch West Nile Virus?

West Nile Virus

GettyBacteriologist Erik Devereaux holds a mosquito that he will check for the West Nile Virus July 28, 2000 at the State Lab in Boston.

West Nile virus (WNV), is spread by mosquitos, which first appeared in the the United States in 1999, according to Medline Plus. People who get infectected with WNV typically don’t show any symptoms. However, a patient might suffer from a fever, body aches, skin rash, swollen lymph glands, and headaches.

Typically, the symptoms go away on their own, Medline Plus reports, however if WNV enters the brain, it can be fatal: “It may cause inflammation of the brain, called encephalitis, or inflammation of the tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, called meningitis. A physical exam, medical history, and laboratory tests can diagnose it.”

Currently, there are no specific vaccines or treatment for WNV. Medline Plus notes that the best way to avoid the disease is defending yourself against mosquito bites by using bug repellant or staying indoors at times when mosquitos are most active, which happens between dusk and dawn.

Furlan Completed Filming the Movie ‘Burning at Both Ends’ With Cary Elwes Prior to Her Death

IMDBMira Furlan as Danielle Rousseau on ABC’s hit series, ‘Lost,’ which premiered in 2004.

Furlan, who emigrated to the United States in 1991, enjoyed a successful career in both film and TV. In addition to her memorable roles in Lost and Babylon 5, also starred in the series Just Add Magic, and voiced Silver Sable in Spider-Man: The Animated Series.

As for her appearances on the big screen, she starred in 1985’s Oscar-nominated film, When Father Was Away on Business, along with numerous movies such as

Furlan’s final project before dying was the role of Agnes in the movie, Burning at Both Ends, according to her IMDB profile. The movie, which completed filming prior to her death, was written and directed by Matthew Hill and also stars Cary Elwes, Sebastian Roche, and Jason Patric.

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