Sir Ian Holm: British actor who played Bilbo Baggins in 'The Lord of the Rings' films dies aged 88

The English actor, also known for his roles in 'Alien' and 'The Fifth Element', had Parkinson's disease

Ian Holm in The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring. Courtesy New Line Cinema
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Award-winning English actor Sir Ian Holm died in London on Friday. He was 88.

The Tony Award-winner, who is known for playing roles as diverse as hobbits to Shakespearean characters, had been battling with Parkinson's disease.

"It is with great sadness that the actor Sir Ian Holm CBE passed away this morning at the age of 88," his agent said in a statement to The Guardian. "He died peacefully in hospital, with his family and carer ... Charming, kind and ferociously talented, we will miss him hugely."

Actor Sir Ian Holm arrives for the premiere of "Tolkien" at the Curzon Mayfair, in London, Britain April 29, 2019.  REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Actor Sir Ian Holm has died aged 88 in London. Reuters

The veteran stage and film actor, born in 1931, has more than 130 acting credits to his name, but he is perhaps best known internationally for playing Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings films, as well as the android Ash in the 1979 Alien movie.

Holm also famously starred as Father Vito Cornelius in The Fifth Element and Chef Skinner in animated classic Ratatouille.

Ian Holm, right, in The Fifth Element. Courtesy Columbia Pictures
Ian Holm, right, in 'The Fifth Element'. Courtesy Columbia Pictures

The actor had won numerous awards over the years, but was only ever nominated for an Oscar once, for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Chariots of Fire, in 1982.

Writer and director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Baby Driver) was quick to pay tribute to the star on Twitter.

"RIP Ian Holm, a genius actor who brought considerable presence to parts funny, heartbreaking & terrifying. Thanks for Bilbo, Napoleon (twice), Sweet Hereafter, Big Night, Brazil and, of course the iconic Ash."


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