Actor Joss Ackland, who starred in Bill & Ted and Lethal Weapon 2, dies at 95
Actor Joss Ackland has died at the age of 95, his family has announced.
The film and stage actor, whose career spanned more than seventy years, died peacefully at home on Sunday, surrounded by family members.
He has appeared in hundreds of films and television productions in addition to his ‘rich and diverse’ stage career, and was awarded a CBE in 2001 for services to drama.
White mischief, Bill and Ted, Lethal weapon 2 And The hunt for the red October were among the films he starred in, working with many great actors, including Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin.
He appeared on television Shadowlands AndMidsomer murders.
The family’s statement said: “With his distinctive voice and commanding presence, Ackland brought a unique intensity and gravity to his roles.
“He will be remembered as one of Britain’s most talented and beloved actors.”
The actor was also a “beloved father” and was married to his wife Rosemary for 51 years before she died of motor neurone disease in 2002.
Ackland was born in 1928 in the London borough of Ladbroke Grove and grew up in Kilburn, north London, with his brother Paddy and sister Barbara.
Ackland and his wife’s home burned down in the early 1960s, causing a pregnant Rosemary to fracture her spine.
She defied the doctors and managed to walk again, but Ackland’s family suffered further tragedy when his son Paul died of a heroin overdose, something Ackland said he would never get over.
The actor worked for several regional theater groups, eventually joining London’s Old Vic and starring alongside talent such as Dame Judi Dench and Dame Maggie Smith.
His stage career outside the Old Vic included the role of Juan Peron in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita and the lead role opposite Hermione Gingold in the London production of A Little Night Music.
In 2015, Ackland read a letter for Letters Live at Freemasons’ Hall, addressed to his, at the time of writing, future wife Rosemary.
Ackland has appeared in more than 100 films and TV series, appearing in films such as White Mischief, Lethal Weapon 2 and The Hunt For Red October.
His TV credits include an appearance in The Avengers, the 1960s spy show about suave British agent John Steed.
He also appeared as Bishop in the Hammer horror film Rasputin: The Mad Monk in 1966.
Ackland continued to act into the 1990s and in 2002 he played the role of Marshal Zelentsov in the film thriller K-19: The Widowmaker, opposite American actor Harrison Ford.
His most recent credits include appearances in TV miniseries Pinocchio in 2009, film Prisoners Of The Sun in 2013, and film Fall Of An Empire: The Story Of Katherine Of Alexandria, also called Decline Of An Empire, in 2014.
Ackland is survived by seven children, 34 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren.
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