It's a sad day throughout the world and in Middle Earth, as beloved actor Ian Holm has died. A veteran of the screen, Holm took on seemingly countless roles over the years, but was best known for his portrayal of Bilbo Baggins in the Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He also starred in Alien alongside Sigourney Weaver, playing the android known as Ash. Holm died peacefully on Friday morning at the age of 88.
Holm's agent released a statement to the Guardian on Friday morning, confirming that the actor had indeed passed. Holm died surrounded by loved ones, and his death was due to an illness related to Parkinson's.
"It is with great sadness that the actor Sir Ian Holm CBE passed away this morning at the age of 88. He died peacefully in hospital, with his family and carer," said Holm's agent. "Charming, kind and ferociously talented, we will miss him hugely."
Holm was born in Essex in 1931 and began acting at an early age. His work in theater eventually led to Holm landing a few parts on television. His first on-screen role came in the ITV Play of the Week program in 1957. Holm worked steadily throughout the '60s and '70s, but it wasn't until 1978 that he really became the star he's known to be today. The actor was cast as a malfunctioning android named Ash in Ridley Scott's sci-fi thriller, Alien.
Three years after Alien was released, Holm received heaps of critical acclaim for his role as coach Sam Mussabini in Chariots of Fire. Holm won a BAFTA for the role and was ultimately nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
Over the years, Holm appeared in several other popular films, such as Time Bandits, Brazil, Henry V, Hamlet, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, The Fifth Element, and The Sweet Hereafter. Holm earned a whole new generation of fans for his portrayal of Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, a role that he reprised briefly in two of the three Hobbit films. Holm also voiced the villainous Skinner in Pixar's Ratatouille.
Rest in Peace, Sir Ian Holmes.