BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Entertainment
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Showbiz 
Music 
Film 
Arts 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Reviews 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Saturday, 30 December, 2000, 00:51 GMT
Joss Ackland: Stage and screen villain

Joss Ackland: Famed as a character actor
Prolific actor Joss Ackland, who has racked up 114 appearances on film and TV alone, has been rewarded for his services to acting.

Famed as a character actor, especially for his villainous roles, the film and stage veteran of nearly 50 years is to made a CBE.

The 72-year-old began his career after graduating from London's Central School of Speech and Drama.

During the next 10 years, he honed his skills by working for a variety of regional theatre troupes, making a brief film debut in 1949's Seven Days to Noon.

Although he left acting in 1955 to manage a Central African tea plantation, he still found time to write plays and work as a radio disc jockey.

Ackland
Ackland is well respected in the acting world
When he returned to the British theatre in 1957, Ackland joined the Old Vic.

From 1962 to 1964, he was associate director of the Mermaid Theatre, and later established himself on the West End musical stage, playing such showcase roles as Captain Hook in Peter Pan and Juan Peron in Evita.

He finally made his name on the big screen in 1969, but attracted attention from America since the late 1980s.

It was his 1987 role as a decadent aristocrat in White Mischief and then as a corrupt South African official in 1989's Lethal Weapon 2 that made his name with filmgoers.

He also won great acclaim for his portrayal of author CS Lewis in the film Shadowlands.

Family man

Although he appeared in both Shakespeare plays and film comedies, he is revered as a villain, complemented by his stature and throaty voice.

Ackland married Rosemary Kirkcaldy when he was just 23, and the couple had two sons and five daughters. One of his sons died several years ago.

Born in 1928 in London's Ladbroke Grove area, Ackland grew up in Kilburn, north London, with his brother Paddy and sister Barbara.

The couple's marital home was burnt down in the early 1960s with a pregnant Rosemary breaking her spine, but she defied doctors by walking again.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories