Ian McNeice was born in the town of Basingstoke (in Hamsphire, England) on October 2, 1950. He studied acting at the Taunton School in Somerset and the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Arts, followed by four years with the Royal Shakespeare Company. McNeice began appearing regularly on television in the early '80s, notably on the 1982 mini-series "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby." In '85, he was cast in a recurring role on the series "Edge of Darkness." In addition to his TV work, McNeice appeared in the films "84 Charing Cross Road" ('87)," "The Raggedy Rawney" ('88), "The Russia House" ('90), "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls" ('95), and "From Hell" ('01). Some of McNeice's most memorable roles include the villainous Baron Vladimir Harkonnen on the mini-series "Frank Herbert's Dune" ('00) and "The Children of Dune" ('03), the bibulous sous-chef Gustave on the British sitcom "Chef!," and the newsreader on the HBO mini-series "Rome." He also took the role of Winston Churchill on an episode of the British sci-fi series "Doctor Who"; the part was something of an encore for McNeice, having previously played Churchill in an '08 stage play.