John Lithgow escapes recasting – and returns as Winston Churchill in The Crown season 3

The American actor returns as former Prime Minister Winston Churchill for one final appearance

John Lithgow as Churchill in The Crown

The entire cast of The Crown has been replaced for season three, with one major exception – John Lithgow will be back as Winston Churchill for one final outing.

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The American actor won an Emmy for his role as the British Prime Minister in seasons one and two, in which he starred opposite Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II.

John Lithgow as Churchill in The Crown

Since then, Olivia Colman has taken over as Her majesty, while Tobias Menzies is replacing Matt Smith as an aged-up Prince Philip. We’ve got brand-new actors for every single character, from the Queen Mother (Marion Bailey) to the Duke of Windsor (Derek Jacobi) down to Assistant Private Secretary Martin Charteris (Charles Edwards).

But producers decided not to re-cast Winston Churchill, instead inviting Lithgow back to play the ailing statesman in his final days.

The new season of the Netflix drama begins in 1964, shortly before Churchill’s death in January 1965 at the age of 90 following a severe stroke.  In the trailer we see glimpses of his funeral, which was the largest state funeral in the nation’s history.

Lithgow’s scenes will see Churchill reunite with the Queen for a final goodbye, though he doesn’t seem to notice her total change in appearance from Claire Foy to Olivia Colman.

The only other stars of The Crown seasons one and two who will appear in season three are Tommy Lascelles (Pip Torrens) and the child actors who play young Elizabeth, Margaret and Philip.

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The Crown season 3 will arrive on Netflix on 17th November 2019