Birthday: February 29, 1928 Birth
Place: North Kensington, London, England, UK Height: 6' 2"
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Another illustrious graduate of London's Central School of Speech and Drama, Joss Ackland made his first professional stage appearance at 17 in the 1945 production The Hasty Heart. For the next decade, Ackland learned his craft in a variety of regional theatre troupes, taking time out for an unheralded film debut in 1949's Seven Days to Noon. He quit acting in 1955 to manage a Central African tea plantation, finding creative outlets as a playwright and radio disc jockey. Upon his return to the British theatre in 1957, Ackland joined the Old Vic. From 1962 through 1964, he was associate director of the Mermaid Theatre. He subsequently established himself on the West End musical stage, playing such showcase roles as Captain Hook in Peter Pan and Juan Peron in Evita. Launching his film career proper in 1965, Ackland has flourished in characterizations calling for outsized gestures and orotund vocal calisthenics. Among his better-known screen roles are Greta Scacchi's decadent, untrustworthy aristocrat husband in White Mischief (1988), and homicidal South African diplomat Arjen Rudd in Lethal Weapon 2 (1990). On TV, Ackland was seen as C.S. Lewis in the 1985 BBC production of Shadowlands, and as Isaac in the 1994 made-for-cable Biblical drama Jacob. He has also provided voiceovers for the animated features A Midsummer's Night's Dream (1961) and Watership Down (1978). When asked his hobbies in a 1981 interview, Joss Ackland listed his seven children.
He was awarded the C.B.E. (Commander of the order of the British Empire) in 2001.
Studied at the Central School of Dramatic Art.
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. 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. 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 & 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 liquorice.
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