Sir Ian Holm — a renowned actor known famously for portraying Bilbo Baggins in the film franchise “The Lord of the Rings”— has passed away at 88.
According to a statement from agent Alex Irwin, Holm died peacefully at a hospital Friday morning after a Parkinson’s-related illness. He was surrounded by family and his caretaker.
Born in Essex, England, Holm attended the RADA drama school in London and later starred in theater productions held by the Royal Shakespeare Company.
After a successful career onstage, Holm began acting in movies, most notably 1973’s “The Homecoming” and 1981’s “Chariots of Fire,” which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
In 2001, Holm appeared in “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” the first of the Peter Jackson-directed film franchise, based on the J.R.R. Tolkien book series.
Holm would later appear in 2003’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” 2012’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” and 2014’s “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” — which was his final film role.
Holm also snagged two Emmy nominations: one in 1999 for “King Lear” and a second in 2000 for “The Last of the Blonde Bombshells.”
In 1989, he was named a Commander of the British Empire (CBE), and in 1998, he was knighted for his services to drama.
After news of his death broke, director Edgar Wright paid tribute to Holm on social media, calling him “a genius actor who brought considerable presence to parts funny, heartbreaking, & terrifying.”
RIP Ian Holm, a genius actor who brought considerable presence to parts funny, heartbreaking & terrifying. Thanks for Bilbo, Napoleon (twice), Sweet Hereafter, Big Night, Brazil and, of course the iconic Ash. "I can't lie to you about your chances, but... you have my sympathies." pic.twitter.com/tO9tcydVUK— edgarwright (@edgarwright) June 19, 2020
Holm is survived by his wife, artist Sophie de Stempel, and his five children.
He will be missed.