Endowed with an orotund delivery honed treading the boards with the likes of Olivier, British actor Ronald Pickup bowed on the British telly with a 1964 role on the venerable sci-fi series "Doctor Who. " He then debuted on the big screen with a minor role in director Olivier's adaptation of Chekhov's drama "Three Sisters." Born in Chester, a city steeped in history dating back to the Roman Empire, Pickup hit his onscreen acting stride with several impressive turns playing significant historical figures. He garnered raves for his portrayals of composers Igor Stravinsky in the 1980 drama "Nijinsky" and Giuseppe Verdi in the massive 10-hour 1982 miniseries "Verdi." Trained at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Pickup, throughout his busy film and TV career, never ventured far from the stage; among other successful theatrical productions, he co-starred on Broadway in "Amy's View," opposite Judi Dench in her Tony-winning performance. Known for supporting roles in other award-winning fare, from the historical drama "The Mission" to the thriller "A Dry White Season," Pickup also graced action-filled popcorn pictures like "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time." He won a whole new generation of fans voicing godlike lion Aslan in an animated British TV series adaptation of the "Chronicles of Narnia" fantasy books and costarring as daffy war vet Fraser on the Brit-com "The Worst Week of My Life."