Joss Ackland has died aged 95.
The passing of the actor – best known for his roles in ‘Lethal Weapon 2’ and ‘White Mischief’ – was confirmed by his family in a statement issued on Sunday. (19.11.23)
It said: “With his distinctive voice and commanding presence, Ackland brought a unique intensity and gravitas to his roles.
“He will be remembered as one of Britain’s most talented and beloved actors.”
The British-born retired star had appeared in over 130 film and television roles during his six decade career, including in ‘The Hunt for Red October’ alongside Sean Connery.
He was also a beloved dad who had been married to his wife Rosemary for 51 years before she died from motor neurone disease in 2002.
The star had seven children, 34 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren.
His acclaimed career saw him nominated for the BAFTA Award for best actor in a supporting role for portraying Jock Delves Broughton in 1987’s ‘White Mischief’.
He first appeared on screen during the 1960s alongside notable actors including Maggie Smith, Judi Dench and Tom Courtenay.
He worked with Alec Guinness in the 1979 television series ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’, in which he played Jerry Westerby, and his career took off in the 1980s with parts in films including ‘The Sicilian’.
Joss’ TV roles included playing Jephro Rucastle in ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ and in ‘Hogfather’, based on sci-fi writer Terry Pratchett’s Discworld.
He also played author CS Lewis in the television version of ‘Shadowlands’ before it was adapted into a stage play starring Nigel Hawthorne.
Joss even appeared in the Pet Shop Boys’ 1987 film ‘It Couldn’t Happen Here’ and in the video for their cover of ‘Always on my Mind’.
Born on 29 February, 1928, in north Kensington, London, the star attended London’s Central School of Speech and Drama and he made his professional theatre debut gad 17 starring in the 1945 production of ‘The Hasty Heart’.
Five years later he made his first appearance on film as an extra on the Oscar-winning thriller ‘Seven Days to Noon’.