Renowned for his imposing physique and resonant voice, British thespian Alan Howard was arguably the greatest Shakesperean performer of the 20th century. A member of a theatrical dynasty, Howard began his career treading the boards in various West End productions before joining the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1966 where he would remain until the early '80s. Howard played all of the Bard's British kings during his remarkable tenure, winning numerous awards for his portrayals of Henry IV, Richard II and Coriolanus in particular, and continued to cement his national treasure status following his departure with an array of memorable National Theatre performances in "Pygmalion," "Les Parents Terribles" and "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead." Howard's film and television career was less prolific, but he still managed to make a significant impression whenever he appeared on screen, most notably as intelligence officer Jack Brotherhood in the John le Carre adaptation "A Perfect Spy" (BBC1, 1987), The Lover in Peter Greenaway's black comedy "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover" (1989) and Oliver Cromwell in "The Return of the Musketeers" (1989). His casting as the voice of The Ring in Peter Jackson's Tolkien trilogy introduced his unmistakable booming tones to a whole new audience.