Joss Ackland, British actor known for his versatility in both stage and screen roles, passed away at the age of 95 Sunday.
His passing was confirmed by his representative Paul Pearson. “Joss was a long term client and great friend who remained lucid, erudite and mischievous to the very end, he died peacefully with his family this morning,” Pearson said in a statement, per Variety.
Ackland’s career spanned over seven decades and left a mark in the entertainment industry. His performance in Richard Donner’s “Lethal Weapon 2” as a villainous diplomat remains a highlight of his career. His portrayal of characters in over 130 film and television credits demonstrated his range as an actor, according to Variety.
Joss Ackland, ‘Lethal Weapon 2’ and ‘White Mischief’ Actor, Dies at 95 https://t.co/zHFvY7TSt4
— Variety (@Variety) November 19, 2023
Among his notable film appearances were roles in “K-19: The Widowmaker,” “Bill & Ted,” and “The Hunt for Red October,” where he shared the screen with Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin. His television work was equally commendable, with standout roles in “Shadowlands” and “Midsomer Murders.” (RELATED: Beloved ‘Harry Potter’ Actor Dead At 82)
His contributions to drama were recognized in 2001 when he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). Ackland’s talent also earned him two BAFTA nominations: one for best actor in the TV movie “First and Last,” and another for supporting actor in “White Mischief.”
Beyond the screen, he also ventured into stage acting. He worked with renowned figures like Maggie Smith, Judi Dench and Tom Courtenay. His stage roles were diverse, including a portrayal of Juan Peron in “Evita” and a role opposite Hermione Gingold in “A Little Night Music,” per Variety.
Born in 1928 in London’s Ladbroke Grove and raised in Kilburn, Ackland’s journey in acting began at the Central School of Speech and Drama, leading to his stage debut at 17. His early years included joining various regional theater troupes and a stint with London’s prestigious Old Vic.