Joss Ackland Poster


Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (15) | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 29 February 1928North Kensington, London, England, UK
Birth NameSidney Edmond Jocelyn Ackland
Height 6' 1" (1.85 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Joss Ackland, the distinguished English actor who has appeared in over 100 movies, scores of plays and a plethora of television programs in his six-decade career, was born Sidney Edmond Jocelyn Ackland on February 29, 1928, in North Kensington, London. After attending London's Central School of Speech and Drama, the 17-year-old Ackland made his professional stage debut in "The Hasty Heart" in 1945.

Although he first appeared on film in John Boulting's and Roy Boulting's Oscar-winning thriller Seven Days to Noon (1950) in an uncredited bit role, he made his credited debut in a supporting role in Vernon Sewell's Ghost Ship (1952). He would not again grace the big screen until the end of the decade. Instead, Ackland spent the latter half of the 1940s and the first half of the 1950s honing his craft in regional theatrical companies.

In 1955 he left the English stage behind and moved to Africa to manage a tea plantation, an experience that likely informed his heralded performance 20 years later in White Mischief (1987). In his two years in Africa he wrote plays and did service as a radio disc jockey. Upon his return to England in 1957, he joined the Old Vic company.

From 1962-64 he served as associate director of the Mermaid Theatre. Subsequently, his stage acting career primarily was in London's commercial West End theater, where he made a name for himself in musicals. He was distinguished as Captain Hook in the musical version of "Peter Pan" and as Juan Peron in "Evita". In the straight theater he was a memorable Falstaff in William Shakespeare's "Henry IV Parts 1 & 2" and as Captain Shotover in George Bernard Shaw's "Heartbreak House". In the 1960s Ackland began appearing more regularly in films, and his career as a movie character actor picked up rapidly in the 1970s and began to flourish in the 1980s. It has shown little sign of abating in the 21st century, even though he's well into his 70s.

In addition to his performance in "White Mischief", among his more notable turns as an actor before the camera came in the BBC-TV production of Shadowlands (1985), in which he played 'C.S. Lewis', and in Lethal Weapon 2 (1989) as the South African heavy.

He is the father of seven children, whom he listed as his "hobby" in a 1981 interview. On December 31, 2000, Joss Ackland was named a Commander of the British Empire on the New Year's Honours List for his 50 years of service to the English stage, cinema and television.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (1)

Rosemary Kirkcaldy (1951 - 25 July 2002) (her death) (7 children)

Trade Mark (1)

Deep, distinctive voice

Trivia (15)

He was awarded the C.B.E. (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2001 Queen's New Years Honours List for his services to drama.
He studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, England.
Has five daughters (Melanie, Antonia, Penelope, Samantha and Kirsty) and one son (Toby). His eldest son, Paul, died of a heroin overdose in 1982.
His son, Paul, worked as a builder.
On the "BBC Desert Island Discs" radio program broadcast in August 2001, Ackland picked the music he would want with him if he was stranded on a desert island. His picks were, in apparently ascending order: - 1. Ralph Vaughan Williams' "The Lark Ascending", Nigel Kennedy with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Simon Rattle - 2. "Bailero" from "Songs of the Auvergne", Victoria de los Angeles with Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux conducted by Jean-Pierre Jacquillat - 3. "Moon River" sung by Audrey Hepburn - 4. Stephen Sondheim's "Children Will Listen" from "Into the Woods", performed by Bernadette Peters - 5. Nina Simone's cover of "Mr. Bojangles" - 6. Sondheim's "Losing My Mind", sung by Barbara Cook - 7. Jean Sibelius' "Violin Concerto", Ivry Gitlis with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jascha Horenstein - 8. Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt's "My Cup Runneth Over", performed by Mary Martin and Robert Preston. Ackland said that if he was limited to just one record, it would be No. 8, "My Cup Runneth Over". For books, in addition to The Bible and the Complete Works of Shakespeare, he would want Samuel Pepys's Diary. His luxury would be a huge jar of licorice.
Frequently cast as Russian dignitaries or bureaucrats.
He has an entry in "Dictionnaire du Cinéma/Les Acteurs" by Jean Tulard, published in Paris in 2007 (page 11).
Grandfather-in-law of Shaun Dooley.
Grandfather of Polly Cameron.
Performed (with Denholm Elliott) the first gay kiss seen on a West End stage in John Mortimer's play Bermondsey in 1971.
He was considered for the roles of Dr. Hans Fallada, Dr. Bukovsky and Sir Percy Heseltine in Lifeforce (1985). The roles eventually went to Frank Finlay, Michael Gothard and Aubrey Morris respectively.
He played d'Artagnan in The Further Adventures of the Musketeers (1967) and his father in The Three Musketeers (1973).
He has two roles in common with Michael York: (1) Ackland played d'Artagnan in The Further Adventures of the Musketeers (1967) while York played him in The Three Musketeers (1973) (in which Ackland played his father), The Four Musketeers: Milady's Revenge (1974), The Return of the Musketeers (1989) and La Femme Musketeer (2004) and (2) Ackland played King Arthur in A Kid in King Arthur's Court (1995) while York played him in The Wonderful World of Disney: A Knight in Camelot (1998).
Joss Ackland has made two appearances in two filmed John le Carré adaptations. The first was in an episode of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979) [See: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Smiley Sets a Trap (1979)] and the second and final appearance was in the tele-movie A Murder of Quality (1991). Ackland appeared in each type of television adaptation of a John le Carré novel, both a tele-movie and a TV mini-series. The two TV productions were made and first broadcast around a dozen years apart.
He dubbed the voice of chaerea (paolo bonacelli) in the english language version of 'caligula'.

Personal Quotes (3)

I'm so tired of not being able to make a movie without a car chase, or the villain dying twice. It's all exactly the same.
I do an awful lot of crap, but if it's not immoral, I don't mind. I'm a workaholic.
I was in Mad Dogs and Englishmen (1995), with Liz Hurley [Elizabeth Hurley], which was God-awful and quite rightly torn to shreds. Then there was Passion of Mind (2000) last year with Demi Moore. Terrible script. Awful, actually, but I needed the money. She's alright, not very bright or talented. I imagine she and Bruce Willis together were a joy to behold.

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