Joss Ackland, a British actor with a varied eight-decade career who was best known for his villainous roles in movies, passed away on Sunday, according to his family. 95 years old.
The actor, who was renowned for his “distinctive voice and commanding presence,” died quietly at home in the company of family, according to a statement.
It went on, “He will be remembered as one of Britain’s most beloved and talented actors.”
In “Lethal Weapon 2,” Ackland played a corrupt South African diplomat whose diplomatic immunity eventually fails to shield him from Mel Gibson and Danny Glover’s determined LA police officers. This was his most well-known big-screen villain.
In “The Sicilian,” he portrayed an enraged mafia don; in “White Mischief,” he was a sullen English aristocrat who was charged with murder in Kenya.
Ackland even made a cameo as a murderous hitchhiker in a surreal video for the Pet Shop Boys’ synth-pop version of “You Were Always On My Mind”.
But far from feeling typecast, the imposing actor, who stood at 6ft 1in (1.85 metres), with a rich voice bordering between grandfatherly reassurance and outright menace, revelled in the roles.
“I think you can still be subtle but it’s so much easier to portray evil than it is good,” he told BBC radio in 2001.