Ian Holm, an incredible actor with roles in Lord of the Rings, Alien, and many more classics, has tragically passed away at the age of 88. In celebration of his life, let’s take a look at some of his most iconic roles. Rest in peace.
In Love With Acting
Believe it or not, Ian Holm did not start his career off as strongly as he ended it. In fact, the actor almost quit in the beginning, while acting on stage, thinking he could never make it to the silver screen. Of course, this turned out entirely false! Born in Essex in 1931, Holm described his childhood as a “pretty idyllic existence.” It did not take long for him to find a home on stage, and he built his career at the Rada in London and the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford. By 1965, Holm had already won an Evening Standard Best Actor award for his part as Henry V in War of the Roses.
Thanks to his award and a role in The Iceman Cometh in 1976, Holm then transitioned to film. He began with small roles in British films like The Bofors Gun, Oh! What a Lovely War, and Young Winston. However, his first significant role came in Ridley Scott’s classic space horror film, Alien. Holm quickly followed this up with a part in Chariots of Fire and, from there, the rest is history!
Many Iconic Roles
After Chariots of Fire, Ian Holm continued starring in hit after hit. From his roles as Napoleon in Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits to the Luc Besson’s ’90s classic The Fifth Element (seen above) and many more, the actor has too many iconic roles to mention. After a fruitful film career, Holm returned to the stage in the late ’90s, again starring in Shakespear adaptions.
Of course, Holm would famously return to the screen once again as Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s iconic Lord of the Rings adaptation. Unfortunately, due to his illness, Holm could not make a virtual Lord of the Rings cast reunion online last month. “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 said at the time.
Ian Holm: A Life In All Kinds of Pictures
One of our final works from Holm will be his 2004 autobiography. In it, he details not only his career, but his wonderful home life. Knowing of his loving wife, five children, and many grandchildren only makes the loss harder.
“It is with great sadness that the actor Sir Ian Holm CBE passed away this morning at the age of 88,” his agent confirmed this week in London. “He died peacefully in hospital, with his family and carer. Charming, kind, and ferociously talented, we will miss him hugely.” Unfortunately, over the past few years, Holm has battled with Parkinson’s, which resulted in his death. Meanwhile, his wife, artist Sophie de Stempel, stood by his side until the very last moment. She also captured her husband’s final years in a series of paintings, like the one seen above. Thankfully, though these, and Holm’s iconic roles, we will always remember him!