Veteran British actor Ian Holm has passed away. He was 88 years old. Holm’sagent has stated that Holm died in hospital on Friday morning. The actor had been battling Parkinson’s Disease for a number of years.
In a message to the Guardian, they announced: “It is with great sadness that the actor Sir Ian Holm CBE passed away this morning at the age of 88. He died peacefully in hospital, with his family and carer…Charming, kind and ferociously talented, we will miss him hugely.”
Born in 1931 in Essex, UK, Holm made his big-stage presence with the Royal Shakespeare Company in his early career, winning an Evening Standard best actor award for Henry V in 1965. He was also well known as the towering King Lear onstage in 1997 and his work in the original production of Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming, which he also brought to Broadway. He also debuted on the big screen with an adaptation of his stage performance in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1968.
It wasn’t until his later part of his career that he made his way into film. He first achieved mainstream notice for his work as a malfunctioning android in 1979’s Alien. He also appeared in numerous high-profile films like The Fifth Element and as Bilbo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings pics The Fellowship of the Ring and The Return of the King and Hobbit movies An Unexpected Journey and The Battle of the Five Armies.
His most notable credit would have to be in 1981 Oscar best picture winner Chariots of Fire, which brought him a Oscar nomination as best supporting actor and a BAFTA award for his role as Olympic trainer Sam Mussabini.
Holm was an extremely versatile actor, both onstage and onscreen. In 1998, he even received his knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for his contribution to drama.
Holm also made several outstanding performances in The Madness of King George, Joe Gould’s Secret, Big Night, and The Sweet Hereafter. He was also one of the starring voices in the stylish animated film noir sci-fi Renaissance and the iconic animated feature Ratatouille. He also worked regularly on British television series like The Borrowers.
The actor is survived by his third wife (the actor Penelope Wilton), fourth wife Sophie de Stempel, and five children from previous relationships.
Tributes have flooded in, including this one from BAFTA: “We are very sorry to hear of the death of Ian Holm. Nominated for 6 BAFTAs in his wide-ranging and successful career across TV and film, he is pictured here winning the Supporting Actor award for his role in Chariots Of Fire in 1981.”
We are very sorry to hear of the death of Ian Holm. Nominated for 6 BAFTAs in his wide-ranging and successful career across TV and film, he is pictured here winning the Supporting Actor award for his role in Chariots Of Fire in 1981. pic.twitter.com/x3OduDwoJe
— BAFTA (@BAFTA) June 19, 2020