Ronald Pickup, Actor Known for ‘Best Marigold Hotel,’ Dies at 80

by Emily Morgan

Actor Ronald Pickup, best known for his roles in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel films and the TV show “Orwell On Jura”, has died at 80. 

According to his agent, “Ronald Pickup passed away peacefully yesterday after a long illness surrounded by his wife and family.”

Pickup leaves behind his wife Lans Traverse, who he married in 1964, and his children, Rachel and Simon Pickup. 

In 1964, he began his TV career back with his first big appearance being in the popular show, “Doctor Who.” In the show, he played a physician then later starred in “The Bill,” “Foyle’s War,” “Silent Witness” and “Doc Martin.”

Out of all of his work, fans remember him most for his role in the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in 2011 and The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in 2015, where he played the role of Norman.

In 2012, he spoke about Norman’s role in the film series, saying, “What appealed to me about the character was the fact that he is not good at what he would like to be and that is being this lounge lizard and successful with the women. He tries these awful chat up lines and things that he thinks are in some way attractive but he is just really bad at it. He tries too hard and that gives him a vulnerability that I found appealing and there is something kind of desperate.”

His career also included his role as Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in The Darkest Hour and as a government official in 1983’s Never Say Never Again.   

Ronald received massive accolade when he worked with Laurence Olivier at the Royal National Theatre in Three Sisters and Long Day’s Journey into Night. 

The Laurence Olivier Theatre nominated Pickup for “Best Performance in a Supporting Role” for his performance in Amy’s View.

In 2016, he played the role of Geoffrey Fisher, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in four episodes of the Netflix series “The Crown.”

Pickup also had a cameo in “Coronation Street” in which he starred alongside Michelle Connor in 2014.