Alien, Chariots of Fire and Lord of the Rings: Ian Holm was many things to many people

Sir Ian Holm, pictured in 2005, was considered one of Britain's greatest actors.

Sir Ian Holm, pictured in 2005, was considered one of Britain's greatest actors. Photo: Getty

Sir Ian Holm, star of The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit, has died aged 88.

“It is with great sadness we can confirm that the actor Sir Ian Holm CBE passed away this morning at the age of 88,” Alex Irwin, from Markham, Froggatt & Irwin, said.

“He died peacefully in hospital, with his family and carer. His illness was Parkinson’s-related”.

“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 many things to many people – Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy, Father Vito Cornelius in The Fifth Element and android double agent Ash in Alien.

Ian Holm (right) featured in several classic science fiction movies, including Ridley Scott’s Alien.(IMDB)

Younger viewers might treasure his turn as the grumpy old hobbit whose adventures across Middle Earth prompted encounters with dwarves, dragons and the One Ring in arguably his highest-profile role in 2001, reprised in 2012.

The older generation might recall his electric portrayal of Harold Abrahams’ running coach Sam Mussabini in the Oscar-winning Chariots Of Fire for which he received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor and won a BAFTA.

Ian Holm (right) played running coach Sam Mussabini ‘Chariots Of Fire’ 1981. Photo by Warner Bros./Archive Photos/Getty Images

Widely considered one of the greatest British actors, Sir Ian was a favourite among critics, the public and fellow actors.

Across more than 100 roles in films, television and on stage, he secured a Laurence Olivier award, a Tony and a BAFTA, and was a member of the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company.

His career began in theatre with the Royal Shakespeare Company and scored acclaim in such productions Richard Eyre’s National Theatre production of King Lear before moving into cinema.

His first big Hollywood appearance was as the android Ash in Alien in 1979.

Born on September 12.1931 in a psychiatric hospital in Goodmayes, Essex, his presence was coveted by directors, and he worked alongside Martin Scorsese, Stanley Tucci, David Cronenberg and Woody Allen.

His father was a psychiatrist and a pioneer of electric shock treatment, and his mother was a nurse.

Holm was married four times to Lynn Shaw, Sophie Baker, actress Penelope Wilton and Sophie de Stempel.

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