Ronald Pickup, 'The Crown' and 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' actor, dies age 80

The much-loved stage and screen star died after a long illness

Ronald Pickup attending premiere of "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" at Odeon Leicester Square in 2015, London. WireImage/Getty Images
Ronald Pickup attending premiere of "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" at Odeon Leicester Square in 2015, London. WireImage/Getty Images

Ronald Pickup, the actor best known for his role in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, has died at the age of 80.

The British star died peacefully and surrounded by his family after battling a long illness, his agent Jean Diamond confirmed on Thursday.

The actor had a career spanning more than five decades, but found international fame for his portrayal of bachelor Norman Cousins in the 2012 hit film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Ronald Pickup as Norman Cousins in the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Courtesy Fox Searchlight
Ronald Pickup as Norman Cousins in the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Courtesy Fox Searchlight

He was nominated, alongside fellow cast members Bill Nighy, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Dev Patel, for a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

He reprised his role as the fun-loving lothario in the 2015 sequel, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Pickup also starred in The Crown, playing the archbishop of Canterbury in the first season of the hit Netflix drama.

In 2017, he portrayed Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in the film Darkest Hour, a Best Picture Oscar nominee.

Born on June 7 1940, in Chester, England, Pickup had a long career on stage and screen. His first big break was in 1964 when he appeared in an episode of Doctor Who.

Film credits include The Thirty Nine Steps (1978), Never Say Never Again (1983), A Time to Dance (1992), Lolita (1997) and Danny the Champion of the World (1989).

He was also the voice of Aslan the lion in the BBC's adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1988), and The Chronicles of Narnia (1990), based on the books by C. S. Lewis.

Updated: February 26, 2021 10:55 AM

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