Goodbye, Bilbo Baggins

Ian Holm, famous for his role in 'LOTR' series, is dead at 88
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2020 9:40 AM CDT
Goodbye, Bilbo Baggins
In this Dec. 12, 2012, file photo, actor Ian Holm appears at the premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" in London.   (Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision/AP, File)

British actor Ian Holm, best known for playing an android in Alien and Bilbo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings film series, has died at the age of 88, per a statement from his agent, report CNN and the Guardian. "It is with great sadness that the actor Sir Ian Holm CBE passed away [Friday] morning," the statement reads, adding his death was tied to Parkinson's disease. "He died peacefully in hospital, with his family and carer." Born in Essex in 1931, Holm became involved with theater early, winning a Tony Award in 1967 for The Homecoming. However, Holm's stage fright led him to leave theater after "a sort of breakdown" during a 1976 performance of The Iceman Cometh, which is when he turned his focus to film. He catapulted to international fame with his role as the android Ash in 1979's Alien, followed by a turn at playing coach Sam Mussabini in 1981's Chariots of Fire.

Holm was nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar for that role, though he lost out to John Gielgud for Arthur. From there, Holm became what the Guardian calls "a bona fide acting grandee," mostly playing supporting roles, including that of Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings and Hobbit franchises. The Independent rounds up some online tributes to Holm, including one from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts; Holm was nominated for six BAFTAs over the course of his career. "We are very sorry to hear of the death of Ian Holm," the group tweeted, along with a photo of Holm winning his supporting actor award for Chariots of Fire. "Charming, kind, and ferociously talented, we will miss him hugely," added Holm's agent. The actor is survived by his fourth wife, artist Sophie de Stempel, and five children. The Guardian shows off his career here in pictures. (More obituary stories.)

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