Joss Ackland Born 29 February 1928 North Kensington, London, England, UK Occupation Actor Spouse(s) Rosemary Kirkcaldy (1951–2002) (her death) 7 children Sidney Edmond Jocelyn Ackland, CBE (born 29 February 1928), known as Joss Ackland, is an English actor who has appeared in more than 130 films and numerous television roles. [1 ] Early life [edit ]
Ackland was born in
North Kensington, London, the son of Ruth (Izod) and Sydney Norman Ackland. He was trained at the [2 ] Central School of Speech and Drama. Ackland and his wife, the former Rosemary Kirkcaldy, were married on 18 August 1951 when Ackland was 23 and she 22. She was an actress and Ackland wooed her when they appeared on stage together in Pitlochry, Scotland. The couple struggled initially as Ackland's acting career was in its infancy. They moved to Kenya, where Ackland managed a tea plantation for six months, but, deciding it was too dangerous, they moved to Cape Town, South Africa. Though they both obtained steady acting jobs in South Africa, after two years, they returned to England in 1957. Career [edit ]
Ackland joined the
Old Vic, appearing alongside other notable actors including Maggie Smith, Judi Dench and Tom Courtenay. Ackland's career advanced with parts in , The Sicilian , Lethal Weapon 2 and The Hunt for Red October . He worked opposite White Mischief Alec Guinness in the 1979 television serial , playing sporting journalist and intermittent British espionage operative Jerry Westerby. Ackland has also appeared in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy with Passion of Mind Demi Moore and the two-part TV serial based on Hogfather Terry Pratchett's . He played Discworld C. S. Lewis in the television version of before it was adapted into a stage play starring Shadowlands Nigel Hawthorne and then a theatrical film with Anthony Hopkins in the same role.
His stage roles included creating the role of
Juan Perón in Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical opposite Evita Elaine Paige. He also starred in the London production of Stephen Sondheim's and Hugh Wheeler's with A Little Night Music Jean Simmons and Hermione Gingold, performing on the RCA Victor original London cast album.
Ackland appears in the
Pet Shop Boys' 1987 film , and in the video for their version of the song It Couldn't Happen Here , which was taken from the film. Several years later, he claimed in an interview with the Always on My Mind Radio Times that he appeared with the band purely because his grandchildren liked their music.
Ackland, in a 2001 interview with the
BBC, admitting to being forced to make "awful films" due to being a workaholic, said that he "regretted" appearing in and the Pet Shop Boys Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey music video, while lambasting former co-star Demi Moore as "not very bright or talented". [3 ]
In 2007, with his distinctive voice, Ackland narrated and provided the voice for the Robert Garofalo biography film/documentary on notorious
Occultist Aleister Crowley, titled In Search of the Great Beast 666 that was released on DVD.
Also in 2007, Ackland appeared in the film
How About You opposite Vanessa Redgrave, portraying a recovering alcoholic living in a residential home after being forced to retire and losing his wife to cancer.
In 2008 he returned to the small screen as Sir Freddy Butler, a much married baronet, in the popular ITV1 whodunnit show
. The episode, entitled Midsomer Murders Vixens Run also featured veteran actress Siân Phillips.
In September 2013 Sir
Jonathan Miller directed a Gala Performance of William Shakespeare's at the Old Vic in London. Ackland played Lear. King Lear [4 ] Personal life [edit ]
Ackland and his wife were married for 51 years. They had seven children and, as of May 2006, 32 grandchildren. Despite his filming taking him to far-flung locations, Ackland said they never spent a night apart. In 1963, their house in
Barnes caught fire. Rosemary Ackland managed to save their five children but broke her back when jumping from the bedroom window to safety. She was told she would lose the baby she was carrying and would never walk again, but later gave birth and, after two years in Stoke Mandeville Hospital, walked again.
Their eldest son, Paul, died of a heroin overdose in 1982, aged 29. In 2000, Rosemary Ackland was diagnosed with
motor neurone disease, and died 25 July 2002. [5 ]
In the years since his wife's death, Ackland has read and edited her diaries and published them in 2009 under the title
. My Better Half and Me: A love affair that lasted fifty years [6 ] Selected filmography [edit ] (1949) (uncredited) as O'Neil Landfall (1950) Seven Days to Noon Destination Downing Street (1957) (TV) as Immelmann (1959) A Midsummer Night's Dream (1962) (uncredited) as Seaman on yacht In Search of the Castaways The Indian Tales of Rudyard Kipling (1963) (TV) as William Stevens (1966) (TV serial) as Mr. Peggotty David Copperfield (1966) as The Bishop Rasputin: the Mad Monk Lord Raingo (1966) (TV) as Tom Hogarth On the March to the Sea (1966) (TV) (1966) (TV) as Herr Scavenius Room 13 The Further Adventures of the Three Musketeers (1967) (TV series) as d'Artagnan (1966) (TV) (1966–1968) as Mr. Gibbon (1966), Sam Jardine (1966–1967), Considine (1968), Lewis (1968) The Troubleshooters (1966) (TV) (1966, 1968) as Herr Scavenius Mystery and Imagination (1968) (TV) A Place of One's Own (1967) (TV) (1967–1968) as Det. Insp. Todd Z-Cars (1969) (TV series) as Brig. Hansing The Avengers The Gold Robbers (1969) (TV) as Derek Hartford Before the Party (1969) (TV) as Harold Bannon (1970) as Neville Rogers The House That Dripped Blood The Three Sisters (1970) (BBC Play of the Month series) as Chebutykin (1972) as The Leader Mr. Forbush and the Penguins Thirty-Minute Theatre (1971) (TV) (1971, 1972) (1971) as Edgar Lewis Villain (1972) (TV) as Felix Meadowes The Persuaders! (1972) (TV) as Inspector Vaughan Shirley's World (1972) as Dr. Frederick The Happiness Cage Six Faces (1972) (TV series) as Harry Mellor Six Faces: True Life (1972) (TV) Six Faces: Gallery of Faces (1972) (TV) (1973) Penny Gold (1973) (TV) as Grubber The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes (1973) (TV) as Gen. Burgdorf Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973) as Haller England Made Me (1973) as D'Artagnan's Father The Three Musketeers (1974) (TV) as Arthur Gordon The Protectors (1974) as Chief Supt. Wray The Black Windmill (1974) ... Martinson S*P*Y*S (1974) as The King The Little Prince (1974) (TV) as Joe Gargery Great Expectations (1975) as B.J. Spence One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing (1975) as Sapten Royal Flash (1975) as Janák Operation Daybreak You Talk Too Much (1976) (TV) (1976) (TV series) as Charles Bronte The Crezz (1977) as President The Strange Case of the End of Civilization as We Know It (1978) (voice) as Black Rabbit Watership Down (1978) (TV) as Major General Laidlaw Enemy at the Door (1978) (uncredited) The Greek Tycoon (1978) as Cantrell Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (1978) (TV) as Gunther Return of the Saint (1978) (TV) as Alan Ember The Sweeney (1979) (uncredited) as Prison Warden A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (1979) as Yardley Saint Jack (TV) (1979) as Jerry Westerby Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1980) (TV) (1980, 1988) as Malcolm Harper (1980), Colonel George Peregrine (1988) Tales of the Unexpected A Question of Guilt (1980) (TV series) as Samuel Kent The Love Tapes (1980) (TV) (uncredited) as Narrator (1980) as Insp. Vanderveld Rough Cut (TV) as Ivor Stocker The Gentle Touch (1980) as Hippie Leader/Mr. Topps The Apple Dangerous Davies – The Last Detective (1981) as Chief Insp. Yardbird Thicker Than Water (1981) (TV) as Joseph Lockwood The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1982) (TV) as Edward Moulton-Barrett (1984) (TV) as Stephen Courtney-Briggs, surgeon Shroud for a Nightingale (1984) (TV) as Menenius The Tragedy of Coriolanus (1985) (TV) as Shadowlands C. S. Lewis (1985) as Van Hoyten A Zed & Two Noughts – "The Copper Beeches" (1985) (TV series) as Jephro Rucastle The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1986) as Sir John Bridges Lady Jane (1987) (TV) as Henry Ormonroyd When We Are Married (1987) as Sir Jock Delves Broughton White Mischief A Killing on the Exchange (1987) (TV) as Sir Max Sillman Queenie (1987) (TV) as Sir Burton Rumsey (1987) as Don Masino Croce The Sicilian (1988) as Priest/murderer It Couldn't Happen Here The Man Who Lived at the Ritz (1988) (TV) as Goering (1988) (TV) as 'C' Codename: Kyril (1988) as Colonel To Kill a Priest First and Last (1989) (TV) as Alan Holly A Quiet Conspiracy (1989) (TV) as Theo Carter The Justice Game (1989) (TV) as Sir James Crichton (1989) as Arjen 'Aryan' Rudd Lethal Weapon 2 (1990) (TV) as Dr. Charles Lanyon Jekyll & Hyde (1990) (TV) as Mafia boss Dimenticare Palermo (1990) as Ambassador Andrei Lysenko The Hunt for Red October The Secret Life of Ian Fleming (1990) (TV) as Gen. Gerhard Hellstein (1990) as Gaetano Leporino Tre colonne in cronaca Incident at Victoria Falls (1991) (TV) as King Edward (1991) (TV) as Terence Fielding A Murder of Quality (1991) as Mr. Mercer The Object of Beauty (1991) as Chuck De Nomolos Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991) (TV) as A Woman Named Jackie Aristotle Onassis Ashenden (1991) (TV) as Cumming (1991) (TV) as Lewis Serrocold They Do It with Mirrors The Sheltering Desert (1992) as Col. Johnston (1992) as Hercules Popodopoulos Once Upon a Crime Shadowchaser (1992) as Kinderman (1992) as Smithson The Bridge (1992) as Hans The Mighty Ducks (1992) (TV) as The Prussian The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992) (TV) (voice) as Shakespeare: The Animated Tales Julius Caesar (1993) as Franklin Hale Nowhere to Run Voices in the Garden (1993) (TV) as Sir Charles (Archie) Peverall (1993) (voice) as King Papa The Princess and the Goblin OcchioPinocchio (1994) as Brando (1994) (TV) as Jacob Isaac Citizen Locke (1994) (TV) as Lord Ashley (1994) as Father Glaise Giorgino (1995) (TV) as Bondarchuk Citizen X (1995) as Insp. Sam Stringer Mad Dogs and Englishmen (1995) (voice) as Brigands The Thief and the Cobbler (1995) as A Kid in King Arthur's Court King Arthur Daisies in December (1995) (TV) as Gerald Carmody (1996) (TV) (voice) as Testament: The Bible in Animation Noah Hidden in Silence (1996) (TV) as German factory manager (1996) (TV) as Captain Deadly Voyage To the Ends of Time (1996) (TV) as King Francis (1996) as Surviving Picasso Henri Matisse (1996) as Hans D3: The Mighty Ducks (1997) as Mr. Swaffer Swept from the Sea Heat of the Sun (1998) (TV) as Max van der Vuurst (1998) (uncredited) as. Monsignor Popescu My Giant The Mumbo Jumbo (2000) as Mayor Smith (2000) as Dr. Langer, the French Psychiatrist Passion of Mind (2001) (TV) as James Brabant Othello (2002) as Mr. Thomas Quarre No Good Deed (2002) as Marshal Zelentsov K-19: The Widowmaker (2003) (voice) as Pieter Van Eckhardt Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness (2003) (TV) as Henry VIII Henry VII (2003) as Evil Edmonds I'll Be There (2004) as Randolph Cauffield A Different Loyalty The Christmas Eve Snowfall (2005) (Narrator) (2005) (TV) as retired General Nikolai Nikolayev Icon (2006) Vixen's Run.(TVs) as Sir Freddy Butler Midsomer Murders (2006) as Albert These Foolish Things (2006) as Moscow Zero Tolstoy (2006) (TV) as Above and Beyond Winston Churchill (2006) (TV) as Hogfather Mustrum Ridcully (Audiobook) (2006) (Narrator) Rise of the Ogre (2007) as Donald How About You (2007) as Mr. Narbutowicz Kingdom (2008) as MKA Flawless (2013) as Prof. Mendella Prisoners of the Sun (2013) as Rufus Katherine of Alexandria Bibliography [edit ] References [edit ] External links [edit ]