Sir Ian Holm, star of 'Lord of the Rings,' dies at 88

By Heather Cichowski

Sir Ian Holm, perhaps best known for playing Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogy, has passed away at the age of 88.

The sad news of the passing of the British actor was confirmed by his agent in a statement on June 19.

"It is with great sadness we can confirm that the actor Sir Ian Holm CBE passed away this morning at the age of 88," his agent said in a statement, according to the BBC.

Ian "died peacefully" surrounded by family and his carer in the hospital. His passing was related to Parkinson's.

Ian Holm on the set of Game, Set and Match on Nov. 19, 1986 in Tenochtitlan, Mexico. Photo: © Paul Harris/Getty Images

The actor was born in Goodmayes, United Kingdom on Sept. 12, 1931. While growing up, he joined an amateur dramatic society then studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.

He started his professional acting career at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon before he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company at its opening in 1960.

Ian racked up numerous television, film and theatre credits beginning in the late 1960's to the 2000's.

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The talented actor was nominated for six BAFTAs, an Academy Award as well as a SAG Award, and received Cannes Film Festival and National Society of Film Critics Award nods.

He won the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor for his role of Sam Mussabini in Chariots of Fire in 1981. Additionally, Sir Ian earned a Tony Award in 1967 for Best Featured Actor for his performance as Lenny in The Homecoming and he received the 1998 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor for his performance in the title role of King Lear.

Fans will fondly remember his appearances as Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit franchises. Additionally, he was known for his role as Ash in Alien and for voicing Chef Skinner in Ratatouille.

Sir Ian Holm attended the Tolkien UK premiere on April 29, 2019 in London, in one of his last red carpet appearances. Photo: © David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage

The actor earned a CBE in 1989 then he earned a knighthood in 1998 for his contribution to drama.

Sir Ian had battled Parkinson's disease for a number of years in more recent times. One of his last red carpet appearances was at the Tolkien UK premiere in April 2019.

Fellow Lord of the Rings actor Elijah Wood wrote on Twitter about Ian's passing, "So sad to hear that the singular, brilliant and vibrant, Sir Ian Holm has passed. Farewell, uncle."

May he rest in peace.

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