The Crown and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel actor Ronald Pickup dies at 80
Iconic British actor Ronald Pickup, best known among fans for his roles in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel films and the hit Netflix series The Crown, died on February 24. He was 80. Pickup's agent in a statement said the veteran actor "passed away peacefully yesterday after a long illness surrounded by his wife and family. He will be deeply missed." Shortly after, the National Theatre tweeted, "We're very sad to hear that Ronald Pickup has died. Ronald was an exceptional actor and had a long history with the NT, starting with 1964's The Royal Hunt of the Sun. He went on to feature in 36 of our productions, and was a regular at The Old Vic under Laurence Olivier."
We're very sad to hear that Ronald Pickup has died.
Ronald was an exceptional actor and had a long history with the NT, starting with 1964's The Royal Hunt of the Sun.
He went on to feature in 36 of our productions, and was a regular at The Old Vic under Laurence Olivier. pic.twitter.com/C6wBmAnSNA— National Theatre (@NationalTheatre) February 25, 2021
Born on June 7, 1940 in Chester, England, Ronald Pickup appeared on both films and television shows, including performing on stage in theater. He shot to international fame for his role in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in 2011, including its sequel in 2015. Pickup played the Archbishop of Canterbury in the first season of The Crown in 2016 and portrayed the role of Neville Chamberlain in the 2017 war film, Darkest Hour, which had Gary Oldman portraying British statesman Sir Winston Churchill.
Ronald Pickup graduated in English from the University of Leeds in 1962 and landed his first big role in television as a physician in the acclaimed British science-fiction show, Doctor Who. He was paid £30 for his performance in the episode 'The Tyrant of France' in 1964. After Doctor Who, Pickup did a few more television roles before starring in The Dragon's Opponent, his own four-part mini-series, in which he portrayed Charles Howard, 20th Earl of Suffolk, a renowned bomb disposal expert during World War II. He also underwent training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London and met his wife, including later becoming a member of the RADA Academy. He was conferred with the annual silver Bancroft Medal upon his graduation in 1964.
In theatre, Ronald Pickup played the role of Octavius in Julius Caesar in 1964 at the Royal Court Theater in London under Lindsay Anderson's direction. He also worked with Laurence Olivier on a number of stage plays and landed a nomination for a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1998 for Best Performance in a Supporting Role for his role in Amy’s View. Survived by his wife, Lans Traverse, their son Simon and his daughter Rachel, Pickup starred alongside with them on the popular TV show, Midsomer Murders, including the film, Schadenfreude.
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