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Ron Cook (born 1948) is an English actor who has been active in the theatre, film and television since the 1970s. He is from South Shields, County Durham, England and is a graduate of Rose Bruford College.
On stage, he appeared in the original 1988 production of Timberlake Wertenbaker's play Our Country's Good. He was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award in the category of Best Supporting Actor in 2000 for his role in Juno and the Paycock at the Donmar Warehouse. He also appeared in a new play by Conor McPherson, The Seafarer, at the Royal National Theatre. In 2008-2009, he took part in the Donmar's West End season at Wyndham's Theatre, playing Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night and Polonius in Hamlet. In 2011, he played The Fool in King Lear starring Derek Jacobi at the Donmar and on an 8-week tour.
He has performed in a large number of television productions, including guest roles in episodes of series such as The Black Adder where he played "Sean the Irish bastard" (1983), Bergerac (1988), Sharpe (1994) and Doctor Who: "The Idiot's Lantern" (2006). He has also had major roles in more highbrow one-off productions and serials, including several instalments of the BBC's The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare (1982–83), most notably as Richard, Duke of Gloucester, later Richard III of England in Jane Howell's repertory treatment of the Henry VI plays and Richard III. He appeared as one of the unnamed "mysterious men" haunting the imagination of Michael Gambon's hospitalised writer in Dennis Potter's acclaimed 1986 serial The Singing Detective, Jack Rosenthal British television play Day To Remember and has featured in several costume dramas, including Stephen Poliakoff's The Lost Prince (2002, as David Lloyd George), an adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles (2002, as Barrymore), a TV adaptation of The Other Boleyn Girl, (2003 as Thomas Cromwell), Anthony Trollope's adaptation He Knew He Was Right (2004, as Bozzel), and Russell T. Davies's Casanova (2005, as the prisoner in the cell next to Casanova's). In 2003, he played the part of captain's steward in the Hornblower episode, Duty. In 2006, Cook appeared as Kenneth Williams' agent Peter Eade in the BBC biopic Kenneth Williams: Fantabulosa!. In 2003, he was honoured to be asked to portray his life-long hero, Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel in the BBC's Seven Wonders of the Industrial World. In 2008, he played Mr Chivery in the TV serial Little Dorrit, based on the novel by Charles Dickens. He has also appeared in the children's TV series Summerhill, as an inspector. He played the role of an orthodox Jewish rabbi (Noach Marowski) in a 2008 edition of Silent Witness. He played the role of Hermann van Daan in the 2009 BBC drama, The Diary of Anne Frank, as well as the part of David Cockram in the ITV drama Whatever It Takes, aired in the same year. In late 2012 Cook played the role of Peter in the ITV series Mrs Biggs, a retired train driver, Ronnie Biggs befriends, employed by the gang to drive the hijacked train away during the Great Train Robbery. An accountant, Mr Crabb, was acted by Cook in the 2013 series Mr Selfridge.
He has played Napoleon Bonaparte twice, in his 1994 guest appearance in Sharpe and again in the 2000 feature film Quills. Other film roles have included parts in The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989, as Mews), Secrets & Lies (1996), Topsy-Turvy (1999, as Richard D'Oyly Carte), Chocolat (2000), Charlotte Gray (2001), 24 Hour Party People (2002, as Derek Ryder), Thunderbirds (2004, as Parker), 102 Dalmatians, Hot Fuzz (2007, as George Merchant). Cook also appeared in Feeling Good, a short film written by Dexter Fletcher and directed by Dalia Ibelhauptaite.
Cook has also acted in radio drama. In 2007 he played the part of confidence trickster Captain Wragge in a BBC Radio 4 adaption of the Wilkie Collins novel No Name. In July 2007, he played the part of Kris Kelvin, the protagonist psychologist on the BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Solaris, Stanislaw Lem's novel.