Joss Ackland, 'Lethal Weapon 2', dies at 95

November 20, 2023
Robert Ayers

British actor Joss Ackland, known for his role in such films as Lethal Weapon 2 and Might Ducks, has died at the age of 95. 

Ackland's passing, according to the Hollywood Reporter, was announced on Sunday by his representative, Paul Pearson.

According to Pearson, Ackland died, peacefully, on Sunday morning, surrounded by his family.

"He was lucid, erudite, and mischievous to the end. I loved him deeply, and, for me, he is the reason we have the word Magnificent in the dictionary," Pearson said.

Remembering Joss Ackland

From London, England, Ackland had a prolific acting career that began all the way back in 1945. This was when, after graduating from London's Central School of Speech and Drama, Ackland, at the age of 17, made his professional on-stage debut in The Hasty Heart. 

From there, Ackland joined several regional theater troupes, where he honed his acting skills. Ackland would end up with London's Old Vic.

From there, Ackland would go on to earn over 130 television and film credits. He is particularly well known for his role in Lethal Weapon 2. He was the one who said "Diplomatic immunity!" before being shot by Officer Roger Murtaugh, who was played by Danny Glover.

Some of Ackland's other well-known roles were in K-19: The Widowmaker, Bill & Ted, The Hunter For Red October, Mighty Ducks, White Mischief Shadowlands, and Midsomer Murders. Outside of television and the big screen, Ackland also had several memorable stage appearances, appearing alongside the likes of Dame Maggie Smith and Dame Judi Dench.

For his acting, Ackland earned two BAFTA nominations: one for Best Actor in First and Last and one for Best Supporting Actor in White Mischief. He was also made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2001.

A "beloved father"

In his personal life, Ackland was a family man. He had been married to his wife, actress Rosemary Kirkcaldy, for 51 years before she passed away in 2002. The two married in August of 1951.

They had seven children together. Ackland is survived by them as well as by 34 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren.

In a statement that the family released following his passing, they called Ackland a "beloved father."

The family, in the statement, also emphasized what Ackland has done for the acting world.

The family wrote, "With his distinctive voice and commanding presence, Ackland brought a unique intensity and gravitas to his role. He will be remembered as one of Britain's most talented and beloved actors."

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