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Birthday: February 29, 1928
Birthplace: North Kensington, London, England
Birth Name: Sidney Edmond Jocelyn Ackland


Biography from 1991 Bogus Journey Press Kit

JOSS ACKLAND (De Nomolos) is an accomplished stage, film and television actor who has had an extensive career in both England and the United States.

On film, he co-starred in "Lethal Weapon 2," "White Mischief," "The Sicilian," "Saint Jack" and "The Three Musketeers." He also had roles in Peter Greenway’s cult film "A Zed and Two Noughts" as well as "Lady Jane," for director Trevor Nunn. Ackland was recently featured in "The Object of Beauty" and "Sheltering Desert," with Jason Connery.

On television, Ackland co-starred in Turner Entertainment’s "The Secret Life of Ian Fleming," as well as in countless BBC television productions, including "Shadowlands," "First & Last," "Barretts of Wimpole Street" and "Coriolanus."

Among Ackland’s theatre credits are starring roles in the British productions of such musicals as "Evita" (where he originated the role of Peron) and "A Little Night Music."

Ackland attended England’s Central School of Music and Drama at the age of 16 and a year later made his West End stage debut in "The Hasty Heart." He then went on to Stratford and four years of repertory theatre in both England and the U.S. Returning to England in the early sixties, he began taking on major Shakespearean roles in such plays as "Henry V" (playing Pistol) and "Twelfth Night" (as Toby Belch) before steadily branching out into film and television.


Updated Biography

When an actor's career spans as many years and covers as many different areas as Joss Ackland's has, one has to define him as a legend in his field.  Undoubtedly his most noted role was that of the bad guy in Lethal Weapon 2, but he was also memorable in The Hunt for Red October and as Brig. Hansing in a 1969 episode of the popular British series The Avengers.

Other films Joss Ackland has appeared in include Once Upon a Crime, The Mighty Ducks, The Sheltering Sky, Nowhere to Run, Mad Dogs and Englishmen, A Kid in King Arthur's Court, Surviving Picasso, My Giant, K-19: The Widowmaker, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness, Asylum and Moscow Zero.  Recently he appeared in the 2007 movie Flawless and the indie film How About You?

Television appearances include roles in Destination Downing Street, Sherlock Holmes, several episodes of The Troubleshooters, Tales of the Unexpected and Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.  In 2005 he appeared in a miniseries starring Patrick Swayze called Icon.  More recently he has appeared in the made-for-TV films Icon (starring opposite Patrick Swayze), Above and Beyond (in which he played Winston Churchill) and Hogfather (by sci-fi author Terry Pratchett).

But Ackland started his career on the stage, taking a break from the stage to live in South Africa for a couple of years, then joining England's famous Old Vic in 1957 upon his return.  From 1962 to 1964 he was Associate Director of the Mermaid Theatre.  On stage he portrayed the roles of Falstaff in Henry IV Parts 1 & 2, Captain Shotover in Heartbreak House, Captain Hook in Peter Pan and Juan Peron in Evita.

On December 31st, 2000, Joss Ackland was honored for his 50 years of work on the stage and screen and made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE).

Joss Ackland also authored the book My Better Half and Me using excerpts from his late wife, Rosemary Ackland's diaries to tell the touching story of their lengthy and strong relationship despite the many difficult times they faced together.

In recent years he has appeared in the made-for-TV movie Pinocchio, and provided the English voice for the video game IL-2 Sturmikov: Birds of Prey.  He also had a recurring role as Judge Jeffries in the television series Crusoe.

Upcoming roles for Joss Ackland include the Narrator in a short film entitled The Boy with Chocolate Fingers, and in the upcoming films Prisoners of the Sun and Katherine of Alexandria.

Mr. Ackland also recently returned to the stage in a production of The King's Speech at the Richmond Theater in March 2012.

Last updated: 3/24/12


For a list of Joss Ackland's acting credits,
please visit the
Internet Movie Database