Joss Ackland, a character famous for playing bad guys in 80s and 90s movies, had passed away at 95.
Joss Ackland, a familiar face to eighties and nineties movie fans, is dead at 95. According to Variety, the actor died of natural causes. Famous for playing the loathsome South African villain in Lethal Weapon 2, Ackland had a long and distinguished career in film, TV and on-stage. Arguably, his most memorable screen moment came at the climax of Lethal Weapon 2 when, after pumping Mel Gibson’s Riggs full of bullets, he taunts Danny Glover’s Murtagh by boasting “diplomatic immunity,” to which Murtagh, in a crowd-pleasing moment, cocks his head and blows the bad guy away.
Ackland also made for a memorable bad guy in Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, where he played the villain, De Nomolos. He was also in The Hunt for Red October, K-19: The Widowmaker, and played Emilio Esteves’s kindly former coach in The Mighty Ducks. He also famously appeared in the Pet Shop Boys video for “Always on My Mind.” Ackland worked constantly and tended not to have many allusions about his work, famously saying, “I do an awful lot of crap, but if it’s not immoral, I don’t mind. I’m a workaholic.” He was known for his cheeky sense of humour, which apparently never left him, with his rep, Paul Pearson, telling Variety, “Joss was a long-term client and great friend who remained lucid, erudite and mischievous to the very end, he died peacefully with his family this morning.”
Speaking of his family, Ackland was survived by seven children, 30 grandchildren and 34 great-grandchildren (!). Indeed, Ackland was a one-of-a-kind presence, and while he may never entirely become a leading man in film, his face is instantly recognizable. and he always did fine work and will be missed.