Lord of the Rings star, Sir Ian Holm dies aged 88

English stage and film actor, Sir Ian Holm, who played Bilbo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings films, has died at the age of 88.
The award-winning actor gave up the ghost on Friday morning, June 19 after a battle with Parkinson’s disease.

A statement from his agent Alex Irwin said: "It is with great sadness we are able to confirm that the actor Sir Ian Holm CBE gave up the ghost this morning at the age of 88. He died peacefully in hospital, along with his family and carer. 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 within the Homecoming), Sir Ian was globally recognised for his extraordinarily impressive and varied career including highlights like Chariots of fireside , The Fifth Element, Alien, The Sweet Hereafter, Time Bandits, The Emperor's New Clothes and also the Madness of King George.

"His portrayal of Bilbo Baggins within the Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings trilogies ensured the magic of his craft might 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'll miss him hugely."
The actor, who was also an acclaimed theatre star, appeared in films like Alien and also the Madness Of King George.

Reacting to his death, Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) artistic director Gregory Doran said: "It is with great sadness that we heard today of the death of Sir Ian Holm. Ian was quite simply one among the RSC greats.

"Long before he found fame in Chariots of fire, Alien, Greystoke and as Bilbo Baggins within the Lord Of The Rings, Ian joined the Stratford Company in 1958."

He said: "Ian perfectly expressed the cross fertilisation between classics and new writing that Peter Hall forged within the early days of the RSC.

"He married the technique of a classical Shakespeare actor and also the intense naturalism and economy of style of a contemporary tradition.

"Ian was entirely original. Entirely a one-off. He had a simmering cool, a compressed volcanic sense of ferocity, of danger, a pressure cooker actor, a rare and luxurious talent. there is a great spirit gone."

The National Theatre tweeted: We're very sad to hear that Ian Holm has gave up the ghost . He was a unprecedented actor and that we have wonderful memories of his performance at the National Theatre as King Lear (1997).

BAFTA also issued a press release , saying: We are very sorry to hear of the death of Ian Holm. Nominated for six BAFTAs in his wide-ranging and successful career across TV and film, he's pictured here winning the Supporting Actor award for his role in Chariots of fire in 1981.

Sir Ian Holm, widely considered as one of the best British actors, played quite 100 roles in films, television and on stage. He won a Laurence Olivier award, a Tony and a Bafta, and was a member of the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company.

He was married four times, last to artist Sophie de Stempel, and had five children

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