Ronald Pickup death: The Crown and Darkest Hour star dies aged 80

Jacob Stolworthy
·1-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

British actor Ronald Pickup has died, aged 80.

His agent announced the news, telling PA: “Ronald Pickup passed away peacefully yesterday after a long illness surrounded by his wife and family. He will be deeply missed.”

Pickup’s career began in the early 1960s with a small unnamed role in Doctor Who, for which he was paid £30.

His film roles included thriller The Day of the Jackal (1973), Bond film Never Say Never Again (1982) and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012), in which he played the bachelor Norman Cousins.

He reprised his role for the 2015 sequel.

Over the years, Pickup had roles in TV shows such as The Bill, Foyle’s War, Silent Witness and Doc Martin. He also appeared in a 2008 episode of Midsomer Murders alongside his daughter, Rachel Pickup.

Ronald Pickup’s career in film, theatre and television lasted for more than five decadesAFP via Getty Images
Ronald Pickup’s career in film, theatre and television lasted for more than five decadesAFP via Getty Images

He had a recurring role on BBC sitcom The Worst Week of My Life playing Fraser Cook, the uncle of Sarah Alexander’s lead character.

In 2016, Pickup played the Archbishop of Canterbury Geoffrey Fisher in four episodes of Netflix drama The Crown.

The following year, he played Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in the Oscar-winning Churchill film Darkest Hour.

Ronald Pickup as the Archbishop of Canterbury in ‘The Crown’ season oneNetflix
Ronald Pickup as the Archbishop of Canterbury in ‘The Crown’ season oneNetflix

Pickup also had a cameo in the ITV soap Coronation Street playing an OAP who celebrated a birthday party at the Rovers Return with Michelle Connor (Kym Marsh). The episode was broadcast in 2014.

He previously trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada) where he went on to become an Associate Member.

Pickup is survived by his wife Lans Traverse, whom he married in 1964 after meeting at Rada, as well as his daughter, Rachel, and son, Simon.