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Sir Ian Holm, British stage and film actor, dies aged 88

First Published 19 June 2020, Last Updated 21 June 2020

Veteran stage and film actor, Sir Ian Holm CBE, best known for roles in Chariots Of Fire and The Lord Of The Rings, has died today aged 88. His agent announced in a statement that Sir Ian “died peacefully this morning in hospital with his family and carer.” His illness was Parkinson’s-related, his agent confirmed.

The acclaimed stage star began his career in theatre in the role of a spear-carrier in a 1954 production of Othello at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford.

Over the years he established a reputation as a talented actor and went on to receive praise from critics for his performance as Lenny in Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming, for which he won the 1967 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor and his titular role in King Lear, for which he won the 1998 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor

Moving into cinema, Sir Ian played a number of supporting roles including an android in Alien and an athletics coach in Chariots Of Fire for which he received the 1982 BAFT Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and a nomination for an Academy Award.

His international fame was achieved in his role as Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackon’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy and The Hobbit film series.

A statement from his agent Alex Irwin said: “…Sir Ian was globally recognised for his extraordinarily impressive and varied career which included highlights such as Chariots of Fire, The Fith 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 and 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.”

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