Ronald Pickup, OKS 1959

We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Ronald Pickup, OKS 1959.

After leaving King’s, where he participated in many drama productions, most notably as Hamlet in 1957, he completed an English degree at Leeds University and then went on to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). He had a hugely successful career as an actor in both films and on stage. He will be best remembered more recently for playing roles such as the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Netflix series ‘The Crown’ in 2016, Neville Chamberlain in the 2017 film ‘Darkest Hour’ and bachelor Norman Cousins in ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’. He won numerous professional awards and his television work spanned decades and brought joy to the lives of many.

Ron was also a valued and very greatly respected member of our alumni community. He was incredibly supportive of his alma mater and our pupils were always thrilled and excited to know that he was in the audience at the many drama productions he attended in Chester. The fact that he was so generous with his time and also his encouragement and advice to our students, was hugely appreciated.

He was a truly lovely gentleman and will be celebrated and remembered with great affection.

“Very sorry to hear that Ron Pickup OKS has left us. A superb actor and great supporter of the school. Last saw him for lunch in London and asked if he’d ever played Uncle Vanya, ‘only four times’ he said. He’d become a friend. Carpe diem.” George Hartley, Headmaster








Ronald Pickup with Cast of Waiting for Godot







King’s 475th Celebrations

Ronald Pickup with cast of Crucible