Fans of the Mighty Ducks films were left heartbroken at the news of actor Joss Ackland’s death.
The Brit was 95 and died ‘peacefully’ surrounded by family.
A statement from the actor’s family read: “The family statement said: “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.”
In a prolific career, he appeared in more than 100 films, but to a generation of sports fans, he was known as the beloved Hans in Mighty Ducks, the first of which was released in 1992.
It was the sage advice of Hans that saw coach Gordon Bombay fall in love with hockey again and passes on that knowledge to the unlikely peewee team he is forced to coach, who become known as ‘The Ducks’.
And there were plenty of grown up Ducks fans tweeting their devastation following news of the Ackland’s death.
One fan wrote: “Thinking about Joss Ackland’s heartwarming, sage-like performance as Hans in The Mighty Ducks makes me feel so many things—nostalgia and joy—and so that’s who is to me, Hans, the ‘Old Friend’ and the heart at the center of arguably the best sports movie of the ’90s. RIP, Hans.”
There were many clips shared of Hans, while others kept it simple. “Hans from The Mighty Ducks died. This sucks,” said one.
Another added: “Heartbroken to hear about the passing of Joss Ackland. He will always be Hans to me from The Mighty Ducks. An incredible talent. He will be missed.”
A fourth wrote: “OK my fellow Mighty Ducks fans. One last QUACK for Joss Ackland.”
There were also plenty of fans “When you touch the ice, remember Hans.”
Born in 1928 in London, his acting career began with Dame Judi Dench and Dame Maggie Smith at London’s Old Vic.
His other notable film credits include Lethal Weapon 2 and Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey. He was awarded a CBE in 2000 for his services to acting.
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