Ian Holm, the actor best known for his performance for playing Bilbo Baggins in “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” movies, has died at age of 88.
A representative for the actor has said Holm died in hospital on Friday morning. The actor had been battling Parkinson’s Disease for a number of years. However, as recently as January, Holm appeared in person to collect the Newport Beach Film Festival’s Icon Award in London.
The Oscar-nominated Ian Holm, who was celebrated for interpretations of most of the Shakespeare canon, including a towering “King Lear,” also excelled onstage in the original production of Harold Pinter’s “The Homecoming,” which he also brought to Broadway. He began working in films only midway through his career, debuting with an adaptation of his stage performance in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in 1968.
In later years, however, he worked increasingly in movies and more selectively onstage, appearing in high-profile films such as “Alien,” “The Fifth Element,” “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.”
Holm went on to play Sam Mussabini in 1981's Chariots of Fire, earning him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor and winning him that year's BAFTA for the same award. He also had roles in Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits and Brazil, plus a key part in the cult movie The Fifth Element.
Holm had earlier this month been unable to take part in a virtual reunion of the Lord of the Rings cast, saying in a statement: “I am sorry to not see you in person, I miss you all and hope your adventures have taken you to many places, I am in lockdown in my hobbit home, or holm.”
The actor's first tangling with the work of J.R.R. Tolkien was in 1981, when he voiced Frodo Baggins in a BBC radio adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. A few years before that, Holm won acclaim for his portrayal of the antagonistic android Ash in Ridley's Scott's science-fiction horror masterpiece Alien, released in 1979.
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