Lord Of The Rings and Chariots Of Fire star Sir Ian Holm dies | Ents & Arts News
The Lord Of The Rings and Chariots Of Fire star Sir Ian Holm has died at the age of 88, his agent has confirmed.
“It is with great sadness that the actor Sir Ian Holm CBE passed away this morning at the age of 88,” Alex Irwin said.
“He died peacefully in hospital, with his family and carer,” a statement said, adding that his illness was Parkinson’s related.
“An established star of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Harold Pinter’s favourite actor, (he won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor as Lenny in The Homecoming), Sir Ian was globally recognised for his extraordinarily impressive and varied career which included highlights such as Chariots Of Fire, The Fifth Element, Alien, The Sweet Hereafter, Time Bandits, The Emperor’s New Clothes and The Madness Of King George.
“His portrayal of Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings trilogies ensured the magic of his craft could be shared by all generations.
“He was a genius of stage and screen, winning multiple awards and loved by directors, audiences and his colleagues alike. His sparkling wit always accompanied a mischievous twinkle in his eye.
“Charming, kind and ferociously talented, we will miss him hugely.”
Sir Ian was a star of the British film industry who won a Laurence Olivier award, Tony and BAFTA and was a member of the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company.
He was nominated for an Oscar for his role as Sam Mussabini in the 1981 hit Chariots Of Fire.
Sir Ian was married four times, most recently to Sophie de Stempel, a protegee and life model of Lucian Freud, and had five children.
He was married to the actress Penelope Wilton from 1991 to 2001 and the couple starred in the TV series The Borrowers together.
Inspired by seeing Les Miserables as a boy, he secured a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1949 before joining the Royal Shakespeare Company.
However, his stage career was cut short after he developed acute stage fright during a production of The Iceman Cometh in 1976.
“The actor’s industrial disease,” he later described the condition.
He returned to the stage on only a handful of occasions, including his acclaimed portrayal of King Lear at the National Theatre in 1998 which won him his Olivier award.
In June that year, he was knighted for services to entertainment.
In 2002, he revealed he was being treated for prostate cancer and had begun treatment in the UK and the US.
His work became more sparse as he passed his 70th birthday.
He voiced a diminutive, ruthless chef in Pixar’s Ratatouille, played Ben-Gurion in O Jerusalem and reprised Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit.
In one of his final public appearances, a frail Sir Ian attended an event organised by the Newport Beach Film Festival at London’s Langham Hotel in a wheelchair.
He was honoured with an icon award, celebrating his six-decade contribution to the arts, and his family delivered a speech on his behalf.