Joss Ackland, a character famous for playing villains in films of the 80s and 90s, has died at age 95.
Joss Ackland, a familiar face to moviegoers in the 80s and 90s, has died at 95. Variety, the actor died of natural causes. Famous for playing the evil South African villain in Lethal Weapon 2, Ackland has had a long and distinguished career in film, television and on stage. Arguably his most memorable on-screen moment came at the climax of Lethal Weapon 2 when, after filling Mel Gibson’s Riggs with bullets, he mocks Danny Glover’s Murtagh by boasting of “diplomatic immunity”, to which Murtagh, in a crowd-pleasing moment, tilts his head and blows up the bad guy.
Ackland also made a memorable villain in Bill and Ted’s fake trip, where he played the villain De Nomolos. He was also in Hunting for Red October, K-19: The Widowmakerand played Emilio Esteves’ kindly former coach in The mighty ducks. He also appeared in the Pet Shop Boys’ video for “Always on My Mind”. Ackland was constantly working and tended not to make many innuendoes about his work, saying, “I do an awful lot of stupid things, but if it’s not immoral, I don’t mind.” I’m a workaholic. He was known for his cheeky sense of humor, which apparently never left him, with his rep, Paul Pearson, telling Variety: “Joss was a long-time customer and great friend who remained clear-headed, erudite and mischievous to the end, he passed away peacefully with his family this morning.”
Speaking of his family, Ackland is survived by seven children, 30 grandchildren and 34 great-grandchildren (!). Indeed, Ackland was a one-of-a-kind presence, and while he may never become a leading man in cinema, his face is instantly recognizable. and he always did a good job and we will miss him.