Oscar-nominated actor Benedict Cumberbatch has joined others in calling for the British government to pardon gay and bisexual men convicted in the past under the defunct "gross indecency" law.

Their letter published Saturday in the Guardian praises the government for the 2013 pardon of World War II code breaker Alan Turing, whom Cumberbatch portrays in the movie "The Imitation Game."

But it says the 49,000 other men convicted under the same law also deserve pardons.

Cumberbatch was joined by Rachel Barnes, Turing's niece; Morten Tyldum, director of "The Imitation Game," and actor Stephen Fry.

The letter calls on Prince William, his wife Kate and other "young leaders of today" to take steps to pardon all of the men, including an estimated 15,000 thought to still be alive.