In a message to the Guardian, Holm’s agent said: “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.”” He said that Holm’s illness was Parkinson’s related.
Holm was an instantly recognizable face in the industry, considered equally adept on stage and screen. He won a BAFTA and was Oscar-nominated for his role in the 1981 hit Chariots Of Fire and played Bilbo Baggins with aplomb in the epic Lord Of The Rings trilogy and Hobbit films.
One of his most iconic performances was as malfunctioning android Ash in Ridley Scott’s Alien. Scott said today: “I had such a good time and fruitful one with Ian, and my only regret was not to have worked with him once again. Ian talked to me during production quite a lot, which I found to be very helpful. A great talent and a great man — we’ll miss him.”
Born in 1931 in Essex, UK, Holm excelled on stage and was a mainstay at 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 for his work with Harold Pinter and a masterful King Lear in 1997.
Other of Holm’s notable performances include Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits and Brazil, The Madness Of King George, The Fifth Element and Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hearafter. He also had considerable success on the small screen in shows such as The Borrowers.
The actor is survived by his fourth wife, Sophie de Stempel, and five children from previous relationships, as well as his third wife, the actor Penelope Wilton.
Tributes have been pouring in for the thespian: