Ian Holm, Shakespeare actor, who played Bilbo in ‘Lord of the Rings’ dies at 88
Holm passed away in a London hospital on Friday morning, his agent reported, adding that his illness was Parkinson’s-related.
He won multiple awards and fan love for his performances over the decades. Among many memorable roles, he played the creepy, malfunctioning android Ash in the 1979 horror classic ‘Alien’, coach Sam Mussabini in ‘Chariots of Fire’, for which he won a Bafta award, Father Vito Cornelius, the awkward priest with a mission to save the world in ‘The Fifth Element’.
Arguably, however, playing Bilbo Baggins in various adaptations of JRR Tolkien’s books is what Holm was best known for across the world. He first portrayed the adventurous halfling in part one of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, and revisited Bilbo for the ‘Hobbit’ movies in 2010, portraying the older version of the character. Holm also played Bilbo’s nephew, Frodo Baggins, in a 1981 BBC Radio recording of ‘The Lord of the Rings’.
Before launching his career on the silver screen in the late 1960s, Holm was a star performer in the Royal Shakespeare Company, winning the Evening Standard Award for Best Actor as Henry V. He also portrayed Richard III in ‘The Wars of the Roses’, the BBC television adaptation of four of Shakespeare’s history plays.
Among his more recent works was lending a voice to the villainous chef, Skinner, in Pixar’s animation ‘Ratatouille’, which won him the Annie Award.
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