Veteran Character Actor Joss Ackland Dies at 95


Photo: Georges De Keerle/Getty Images

Joss Ackland — British star of stage, screen, Granada series, Pet Shop Boys music videos, and more — has died. He was 95. “With his distinctive voice and commanding presence, Ackland brought a unique intensity and gravitas to his role,” he family said in a statement obtained by Deadline. “He will be remembered as one of Britain’s most talented and beloved actors.” Ackland started working in theater at the age of 17, and went on to touch pretty much every type of media. He came to prominence in England when working at the Old Vic. His fellow company members included Maggie Smith, Judi Dench and Tom Courtenay. On television, Ackland guested on the Jeremy Brett iteration of Sherlock Holmes, Midsommer Murders, and the Sky One adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather. In film, Ackland broke in America with roles in The Mighty Ducks, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, and Lethal Weapon 2. Musically, Ackland originated the stage role of Juan Perón in the West End version of Evita and starred in the music video for The Pet Shop Boys’ cover of “Always on my Mind.” In 2000, he was awarded a CBE for his service to acting.

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