Ackland, Joss 1928–

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Ackland, Joss 1928–


Full name, Sidney Edmond Jocelyn Ackland; born February 29, 1928, in London, England; son of Sidney Norman and Ruth (maiden name, Izod) Ackland; married Rosemary Kircaldy (an actress), August 18, 1951 (died July 25, 2002); children: Melanie, Paul (deceased), Antonia, Penelope, Samantha, Kirsty, Toby. Education: Attended Central School of Speech and Drama. Avocational Interests: Painting, writing, reading.


Agent—Mitchell K. Stubbs and Associates, 8576 West Washington Blvd., Suite 203, Culver City, CA 90232.


Actor. Appeared with numerous repertory companies throughout England during the late 1940s and early 1950s; performed in South Africa, 1955-57; Old Vic Theatre Company, member of company, 1958-61; Mermaid Theatre, London, associate director (some sources cite artistic director), c. 1961-63; voice for commercials; worked as broadcaster and scriptwriter. Worked as a tea planter in Central Africa, 1954-57, a radio record announcer in Cape Town, South Africa, 1955-57, and at a brewery and a dairy farm. Affiliate of Covent Garden Community Association and of a drug help line.


British Actors' Equity Association, Amnesty International, Garrick Club.

Awards, Honors:

International Emmy Award, 1985, for Shadowlands; Film Award nomination, best supporting actor, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, 1989, for White Mischief; Television Award nomination, best actor, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, 1990, for First and Last.


Film Appearances:

(Uncredited) Policeman at station, Seven Days to Noon, 1950.

Ron, Ghost Ship, 1952.

(Uncredited) Turkish bath attendant, Next to No Time, 1958.

Voice of Quince, Sen noci svatojanske (also known as A Midsummer Night's Dream), 1959.

(Uncredited) Seaman on yacht, In Search of the Castaways (also known as Castaways), 1962.

The bishop, Rasputin: The Mad Monk, 1966.

Carter, Crescendo, Warner Bros., 1970.

Neville Rogers, "Waxworks," The House that Dripped Blood, Cinerama Releasing, 1970.

Edgar Lewis, Villain, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1971.

Head of board, Mr. Forbush and the Penguins (also known as Cry of the Penguins), 1971.

Dr. Frederick, The Happiness Cage (also known as The Demon Within and The Mind Snatchers), Cinerama Releasing, 1972.

General Burgdorf, Hitler: The Last Ten Days (also known as Gli ultimi 10 giorni di Hitler), Paramount, 1973.

d'Artagnan's father, The Three Musketeers (also known as The Three Musketeers: The Queen's Diamonds and Los tres mosqueteros), 1973.

Jones, Penny Gold, 1973.

Haller, England Made Me, 1973.

Chief Superintendent Wray, The Black Windmill, Universal, 1974.

Martinson, S*P*Y*S, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1974.

The king, The Little Prince, Paramount, 1974.

B. J. Spence, One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing, Buena Vista, 1975.

Sapten, Royal Flash, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1975.

Janak, Operation Daybreak (also known as The Price of Freedom and Seven Met at Daybreak), Warner Bros., 1975.

Henry Foreman, Silver Bears (also known as Fool's Gold), Columbia, 1977.

President, The Strange Case of the End of Civilisation as We Know It, 1977.

Voice of Black Rabbit, Watership Down (also known as Richard Adams' "Watership Down"), Avco-Embassy, 1978.

Cantrell, Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (also known as Someone Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe, Too Many Chefs, Le grande cuisine, Ein kochtopf voller Leichen, Qualcuno sta uccidendo I piu grandi cuochi d'europa, and Die schlemmerorgie,), Warner Bros., 1978.

Yardley, Saint Jack, New World, 1978.

(Uncredited) The Greek Tycoon, 1978.

(Uncredited) Prison warden, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (also known as The Biggest Bank Robbery, The Big Scam, and The Mayfair Bank Caper), 1979.

Mr. Topps, The Apple (also known as Star Rock), 1980.

Inspector Vanderveld, Rough Cut, Paramount, 1980.

Chief Inspector Yardbird, Dangerous Davies—The Last Detective, 1980.

Van Hoyten, A Zed and Two Noughts (also known as A Zoo: A Zed & Two Noughts), Skouras, 1985.

Lyford, New World, 1986.

Sir John Bridges, Lady Jane, Paramount, 1986.

Don Masino Croce, The Sicilian, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1987.

Sir John "Jock" Delves Broughton, White Mischief, Sony Pictures Releasing, 1987.

Priest/murderer, It Couldn't Happen Here, Liberty Films, 1987.

Colonel, To Kill a Priest (also known as Le complot, Popieluszko, and Zabic ksiedza), Sony Pictures Releasing, 1988.

Arjen "Aryan" Rudd, Lethal Weapon 2, Warner Bros., 1989.

Man of power, Dimenticare Palermo (also known as The Palermo Connection, To Forget Palermo, and Oublier Palerme), 1990.

Ambassador Andrei Lysenko, The Hunt for Red October, Paramount, 1990.

Gaetano Leporino, Tre colonee in cronaca, 1990.

Chuck De Nomolos, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, Orion, 1991.

Mr. Mercer, The Object of Beauty, Avenue Entertainment, 1991.

Hans, The Mighty Ducks (also known as Champions and The Mighty Ducks Are the Champions), Buena Vista, 1992.

Kinderman, Shadowchaser (also known as Project: Shadowchaser), 1992.

Hercules Popodopoulos, Once Upon a Crime … (also known as 7 Gauner und ein dackel and Es war einmal ein mord), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1992.

Narrator, Mozart 1991, 1992.

Smithson, The Bridge, 1992.

Franklin Hale, Nowhere to Run, Sony Pictures Releasing, 1993.

Voice of King-Papa, The Princess and the Goblin (also known as A Hercegnoe es a kobold), Hemdale, 1993.

Voice of brigand, The Princess and the Cobbler (also known as Arabian Knight and The Thief and the Cobbler), 1993.

Lansing, Mother's Boys, Dimension Films, 1993.

Colonel Johnson, The Sheltering Desert, 1994.

Father Glaise, Giorgino, 1994.

(Uncredited) Victor Landbergh, Miracle on 34th Street, 1994.

Brando, OcchioPinocchio, 1994.

Inspector Sam Stringer, Mad Dogs and Englishmen (also known as Shameless), 1995.

King Arthur, A Kid in King Arthur's Court, Buena Vista, 1995.

Henri Matisse, Surviving Picasso, Warner Bros., 1996.

Hans, D3: The Mighty Ducks, Buena Vista, 1996.

Mr. Swaffer, Swept from the Sea (also known as Amy Foster and Balaye par la mer), TriStar, 1997.

Lord Clare (Jimmy), Firelight (also known as Firelight—Le lien secret), Miramax, 1997.

(Uncredited) Monsignor Popescu, My Giant, Columbia, 1998.

The Prussian, The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Adventures in the Secret Service, SKY Pictures, 1999.

The vicar, Milk, Arrow Releasing, 1999.

Dr. Langer, Passion of Mind, Paramount, 2000.

Mayor Smith, Mumbo Jumbo, Vine International, 2000.

Voice, Lounge Act, 2000.

Himself, Painting Faces, Artsworld, 2001.

Mr. Quarre, The House on Turk Street (also known as No Good Deed), Mac Releasing, 2002.

Marshal Zelentsov, K-19: The Widowmaker (also known as K*19: The Widowmaker, K-19: Showdown in der Tiefe, and K-19: Terreur sous la mer), Paramount, 2002.

Evil Edmonds of the BeelzeeBOPS, I'll Be There, Warner Bros., 2003.

Randolph Cauffield, A Different Loyalty, Lions Gate Films, 2004.

Jack Straffen, Asylum, Paramount, 2005.

Albert, These Foolish Things, Outsider Pictures, 2005.

Mustrum Ridcully, Hogfather, RHI Entertainment, 2006.

Tolstoy, Moscow Zero, Blue Sky, 2006.

Appeared as Bennett in Hall of Mirrors.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Mr. Peggotty, David Copperfield, BBC, 1966.

Tom Hogarth, Lord Raingo, BBC, 1966.

Voice, The Ascent of Man, BBC2, 1973.

Jerry Westerby, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, PBS, 1980.

Mr. Twentyman, Bekenntnisse des hochstaplers Felix Krull, 1982.

Stephen Courtney-Briggs, Shroud for a Nightingale, PBS, 1986.

Sir Burton Rumsey, Queenie, ABC, 1987.

Sir Max Sillman, A Killing on the Exchange, 1987.

Sir Richard Bryant ("C"), Codename: Kyril, Showtime, 1988.

Hermann Goering, The Man Who Lived at the Ritz, syndicated, 1988.

Theo Carter, A Quiet Conspiracy, 1989.

Sir James Crichton, The Justice Game, BBC, 1989.

Aristotle Onassis, A Woman Named Jackie, NBC, 1991.

Cumming, Ashenden, Arts and Entertainment, 1991.

King Edward VII, Incident at Victoria Falls (also known as Sherlock Holmes and the Incident at Victoria Falls, Sherlock Holmes: Incident at Victoria Falls, Sherlock Holmes: The Star of Africa, and The Star of Africa), PBS, 1991.

Lord Wyndham, Il figlio di Sandokan (also known as The Son of Sandokan), 1998.

Max Van der Vuurst, "The Sport of Kings" and "Heat of the Sun," Mystery!, PBS, 1998.

Reader, The Adventure of English, ITV, 2002.

Henry VII, Henry VIII, PBS, 2003.

Winston Churchill, Above and Beyond, CBC, 2006.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Joe Gargery, Great Expectations, NBC, 1974.

Edward Moulton-Barrett, The Barretts of Wimpole Street, 1982.

Menenius, "The Tragedy of Coriolanus" (also known as "Coriolanus"), BBC Television Shakespeare (also known as The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare), BBC, 1984.

C. S. Lewis, Shadowlands (also known as C. S. Lewis through the Shadowlands), PBS, 1986.

Henry Ormonroyd, When We Are Married, BBC, 1987.

Alan Holly, First and Last, BBC, 1989.

Dr. Charles Lanyon, Jekyll & Hyde, ABC, 1990.

General Gerhard Hellstein, The Secret Life of Ian Fleming (also known as 007 Spymaker: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming and Spymaker: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming), TNT, 1990.

Lewis Serrocold, They Do It with Mirrors (also known as Miss Marple: "They Do It with Mirrors"), Arts and Entertainment, 1991.

Sir Charles "Archie" Peverall, "Voices in the Garden" (also known as "Des voix dans le jardin"), Screen Two, 1992.

Isaac, Jacob: A TNT Bible Story (also known as Die Bibel—Jakob, Jacob, and Jacob: A TNT Bible Story), TNT, 1994.

Bondarchuk, Citizen X, HBO, 1995.

Gerald Carmody, Daisies in December, Showtime, 1995.

Captain, Deadly Voyage, HBO, 1996.

King Francis, To the Ends of Time, 1996.

Josef, German factory manager, Hidden in Silence, Lifetime, 1996.

James Brabant, Othello, PBS, 2001.

General Nikolayev, Icon (also known as Frederick Forsyth's "Icon"), Hallmark Channel, 2005.

Also appeared in Constance Kent.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Tom Gorbet, "Tomorrow Just You Wait," The Wednesday Play, BBC, 1965.

Angus Slowly Sinking? (also known as Londoners: Angus Slowly Sinking?), BBC, 1965.

Bernard Jeantet, The Widower (also known as Thirteen against Fate: The Widower), BBC, 1966.

"Focus," Theatre 625, BBC, 1966.

"Death of a Salesman," Play of the Month, BBC, 1966.

"On the March to the Sea," Theatre 625, BBC, 1966.

Cornelius, "Fall of the Goat," The Wednesday Play, BBC, 1967.

"The Three Sisters," Play of the Month, BBC, 1969.

Harold Bannon, Before the Party (also known as W. Somerset Maugham: "Before the Party"), BBC, 1969.

Albert, "The Lie," Play for Today, BBC1, 1970.

The applicant, "Getting In," Thirty-Minute Theatre, BBC, 1971.

"Kings Cross," Thirty-Minute Theatre, BBC, 1972.

The man, "Kings Cross Lunch Time," Thirty-Minute Theatre, BBC, 1972.

Ellis Cripper, "The Bankrupt," Play for Today, BBC1, 1972.

Harry Mellor, Six Faces: True Life, BBC, 1972.

Harry Mellor, Six Faces: Gallery of Faces, BBC, 1972.

"Access to the Children," Play for Today, BBC1, 1973.

"You Talk Too Much," Centre Play, BBC, 1976.

Terence Fielding, A Murder of Quality, PBS, 1991.

Jean Simmons: Picture Perfect, Arts and Entertainment, 2001.

Television Appearances; Series:

Detective Inspector Todd, Z Cars, BBC, 1964-68.

d'Artagnan, The Further Adventures of the Three Musketeers, BBC, 1967.

Canterbury Tales, BBC, 1969.

Charles Bronte, a recurring role, The Crezz, Thames, 1976.

Samuel Kent, A Question of Guilt, BBC, 1980.

Joseph Lockwood, Thicker than Water, Yorkshire, 1981.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Immelman, "Two Faces East," Destination Downing Street, 1957.

Jasper Garnette, "Death in Ecstasy," Detective, BBC, 1964.

The Honorable Philip Green, "The Disappearances of Lady Frances Carfax," Sherlock Holmes, BBC, 1965.

Mr. Gibbon, "Thea," The Troubleshooters (also known as Mogul), BBC, 1966.

Herr Scavenius, "Room 13," Mystery and Imagination, 1966.

Sam Jardine, "Do Your Best for the Lads," The Troubleshooters (also known as Mogul), BBC, 1966.

Sam Jardine, "A Damn Great Lump of Oil," The Troubleshooters (also known as Mogul), BBC, 1967.

Considine, "The Sharp End of the Wedge," The Troubleshooters (also known as Mogul), BBC, 1968.

Lewis, "Never the Twain," The Troubleshooters (also known as Mogul), BBC, 1968.

Mr. Smedhurst, "A Place of One's Own," Mystery and Imagination, 1968.

Derek Hartford, "Grounded," The Gold Robbers, London Weekend Television, 1969.

Brigadier Hansing, "The Morning After," The Avengers, ITV, 1969.

Felix Meadowes, "Read and Destroy," The Persuaders!, ABC, 1972.

Inspector Vaughan, "The Reunion," Shirley's World, 1972.

Potter-Jones, "Crippled Bloom," Country Matters, Granada, 1972.

Grubber, "The Mystery of the Amber Beads," The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, 1973.

Arthur Gordon, "Trial," The Protectors, ITV, 1974.

"Joss Ackland," This Is Your Life, ITV, 1976.

Alan Ember, "Feet of Clay," The Sweeney, ITV, 1978.

Major General Laidlaw, "Treason," Enemy at the Door, London Weekend Television, 1978.

Gunther, "The Nightmare Man," Return of the Saint (also known as The Son of the Saint), ITV, 1978.

Jack Cutler, "The Stinker," Tales of the Unexpected (also known as Roald Dahl's "Tales of the Unexpected"), syndicated, 1980.

Ivor Stocker, "Menaces," The Gentle Touch, London Weekend Television, 1980.

Jephro Rucastle, "The Cooper Beeches," The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, PBS, 1985.

Colonel George Peregrine, "The Colonel's Lady," Tales of the Unexpected (also known as Roald Dahl's "Tales of the Unexpected"), syndicated, 1988.

The Prussian, "Austria, March 1917," The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, ABC, 1992.

Voice of Caesar, "Julius Caesar," Shakespeare: The Animated Tales (animated), HBO, 1994.

Voice of Noah, "David and Saul," Testament: The Bible in Animation (animated), HBO, 1997.

Voice of Noah, "The Creation and the Flood," Testament: The Bible in Animation (animated) HBO, 1997.

Himself, Lads Army (also known as Bad Lads Army, Bad Lads Army: Extreme, and Bad Lads Army: Officer Class), ITV, 2002.

Sir Freddy Butler, "Vixen's Run," Midsomer Murders, Arts and Entertainment, 2006.

Breakfast, BBC, 2006.

Television Appearances; Other:

(Uncredited) Narrator, The Love Tapes (pilot), ABC, 1980.

Lord Ashley, Citizen Locke, 1994.

Gioco di specchi, 2000.

Appeared as Rudyard Kipling in a series about the author, and as Clarence Darrow in Never the Sinner.

Stage Appearances:

(Stage debut) The Hasty Heart, Aldwych Theatre, London, 1945.

Gans, police constable, The Rising Sun, Arts Theatre, London, 1946.

Simon, Mary Rose, Pitlochry Theatre, London, 1951.

Father, Life with Father, Oxford Playhouse Company, Oxford, England, 1957.

Bottom, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Oxford Playhouse Company, 1957.

Sir Toby Belch, Twelfth Night, Old Vic Theatre Company, Broadway Theatre, New York City, 1958-59.

Marcellus, Hamlet, Old Vic Theatre Company, Broadway Theatre, 1958-59.

Archbishop of Canterbury, Duke of Burgundy, and Duke of Orleans, King Henry V, Old Vic Theatre Company, Broadway Theatre, 1958-59.

Caliban, The Tempest, Old Vic Theatre Company, 1959.

Northumberland, Richard II, Old Vic Theatre Company, 1959.

Falstaff, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Old Vic Theatre Company, 1959.

Archbishop of Rheims, St. Joan, Old Vic Theatre Company, 1960.

Pistol, Henry V, Old Vic Theatre Company, 1960.

Aegisthus, The Oresteia, Old Vic Theatre Company, 1961.

Squeezum, Lock Up Your Daughters (musical), Her Majesty's Theatre, London, 1962.

Scrofulofsky, The Bed Bug, Mermaid Theatre, London, 1962.

Bluntschli, Arms and the Man, Mermaid Theatre, 1962.

Sotmore, Lock Up Your Daughters, Mermaid Theatre, 1962.

Title role, The Life of Galileo, Mermaid Theatre, 1963.

Kirilov, The Possessed, Mermaid Theatre, 1963.

Long John Silver, Blind Pew, Treasure Island, Mermaid Theatre, 1963.

Herdsman, The Bacchae, Mermaid Theatre, 1964.

Professor Gilbert Medlin, The Professor, Royal Court Theatre, London, 1965.

Title role, Jorrocks (musical), New Theatre, London, 1966.

Gus, The Hotel in Amsterdam, Royal Court Theatre, then New Theatre, later Duke of York's Theatre, London, all 1968.

Various roles, Come as You Are, New Theatre, then Strand Theatre, London, both 1970.

Brassbound, Captain Brassbound's Conversion, Cambridge Theatre, London, 1971.

Sam Brown, Collaborators, Duchess Theatre, London, 1973.

Harold Mitchell, A Streetcar Named Desire, Piccadilly Theatre, London, 1974.

Fredrik Egerman, A Little Night Music (musical), Adelphi Theatre, London, 1975.

Eustace Perrin State, The Madras House, Laurence Olivier Theatre, London, 1977.

Juan Peron, Evita (musical), Prince Edward Theatre, London, 1978.

Gaev, The Cherry Orchard, Chichester Festival, Chichester, England, 1981.

Falstaff, Henry IV, Parts I and II, Barbican Theatre, London, 1982.

Mr. Darling/Captain Hook, Peter Pan (musical), Barbican Theatre, 1983, then Aldwych Theatre, 1985.

Stewart, Pack of Lies, Lyric Theatre, London, 1984.

Alfred III, The Visit, Chichester Festival, 1995.

John Tarleton, Misalliance, Chichester Festival, 1997.

Captain Shotover, Heartbreak House, Chichester Festival, 2000.

Also appeared as Lord Froth, The Double Dealer, Old Vic Theatre Company; as Honore l'Achailles, Gigi (musical); as Weller Martin, The Gin Game; as Romain Gary, Jean Seberg (musical), Laurence Olivier Theatre, London; as the king, The King and I (musical); and as Clarence Darrow, Never the Sinner; had various minor roles during the 1947 Stratford-on-Avon, England, season.

Major Tours:

Petruchio, The Taming of the Shrew, British cities, 1977.

Sir, The Dresser, British cities, 1981.

Toured with various repertory companies, British cities, 1954, and with Old Vic Theatre Company, Soviet and U.S. cities, early 1960s.

Stage Director:

The Plough and the Stars, Mermaid Theatre, London, 1962.

Radio Appearances:

Guest, Desert Island Discs, BBC, 2001.

Performed in other radio programs.



(Uncredited; in archive footage) Man in video "Always on My Mind," Showbusiness, Picture Music International, 1988.

(Uncredited; in archive footage) Old passenger in video "Always on My Mind," Pet Shop Boys: Videography, EMI Distribution, 1991.

Narrator, The Story of the SAS, 1999.

(Uncredited; in archive footage) Old passenger in video "Always on My Mind," Pet Shop Boys: Pop Art—The Videos, Music Video Distributors, 2003.

Voice of Pieter Van Eckhardt, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness (video game; also known as Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness), Eidos, 2003.

Appeared in the Pet Shop Boys music video "Always On My Mind."

Audio Books; Narrator:

Athabasca, by Alistair MacLean, G. K. Hall Audio Books, 1985.

Cameron Ordinary Seaman, by Philip McCutchan, G. K. Hall Audio Books, 1985.

Fairy Tale Collection, Trafalgar Square Publishing, 1997.

Grimm's Fairy Tales, by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm, Trafalgar Square Publishing, 1997.

The Christmas Mystery, by Jostein Gaarder, Orion, 1999.

Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad, HarperCollins Publishers, 1999.

Christmas "Book at Bedtime" (anthology; originally broadcast by BBC Radio 4), BBC Audiobooks, 2001.

The Chronicle, Greenpark Media, 2002.

Bear Stories, by Mick Inkpen, Hodder & Stoughton, 2004.

Th Fortress Malta, by James Holland, Orion, 2004.

Also narrated the audio version of his own autobiography I Must Be in There Somewhere, ISIS Publishing.



I Must Be in There Somewhere (autobiography), Hodder & Stoughton, 1989.



Ackland, Joss, I Must Be in There Somewhere, Hodder & Stoughton, 1989.


"Joss Ackland" (television episode), This Is Your Life, ITV, 1976.