Lethal Weapon actor Joss Ackland dead at 95

Written by Henrik Rothen

Nov.20 - 2023 11:21 AM CET

Photo: Youtube / Shutterstock.com
Photo: Youtube / Shutterstock.com
Lethal Weapon actor Joss Ackland dead at 95.

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Joss Ackland, the distinguished British actor known for his roles in iconic films such as "Lethal Weapon 2" and "The Hunt for Red October," passed away on Sunday at the age of 95.

According to L.A Times, his agent, Paul Pearson, confirmed his passing, stating that Ackland died of old age surrounded by his family. Ackland was praised for his lucidity, erudition, and mischievous spirit until the end.

In his illustrious career, Ackland appeared in more than 200 roles over six decades. He is remembered for his portrayal of the main antagonist Arjen Rudd in "Lethal Weapon 2," alongside Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, and as Andrei Lysenko in "The Hunt for Red October," featuring stars like Alec Baldwin, Sean Connery, James Earl Jones, and Tim Curry.

Ackland's talent extended beyond these roles, earning him a BAFTA nomination for best actor in a supporting role for "White Mischief" and notable appearances in "Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey" and "Watership Down."

His television career was equally impressive, with significant roles in the 1979 adaptation of "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," "Shadowlands," and "The Avengers." Ackland's final onscreen appearance was in the 2014 film "Decline of an Empire," which was also Peter O'Toole's last movie.

Ackland's contributions to British theater were substantial. He was a fixture in England's theater scene, performing in numerous plays and making his mark at the Old Vic Theatre in London, where he shared the stage with Maggie Smith and Judi Dench. His performances in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s "Evita" and "A Little Night Music" in London were particularly notable.

Born Sidney Edmond Jocelyn Ackland in North Kensington, London, on February 29, 1928, he made his first professional stage appearance at 17 in a 1954 production of "The Hasty Heart."

Ackland leaves behind a legacy as a versatile and respected actor, survived by his seven children, 34 grandchildren, and 30 great-grandchildren. His passing marks the end of an era in British acting, leaving a lasting impact on both stage and screen.

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