Ian Holm

Ian Holm

    Sir Ian Holm, Malleable Actor Who actored Lear and a Hobbit the ring holder, Dies at age 88

    A character actor who finally took leading roles, Mr. Holm had a range that went from the sweet-tempered to the psychotic.

    Ian Holm was one of the world's greatest actors, a Laurence Olivier Award-winning, Tony Award-winning, BAFTA-winning and Academy Award-nominated British star of films and the theater. He was one of the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company and has played more than 100 roles in movies and on television.

    He was born Ian Holm Cuthbert on September 12, 1931, in Goodmayes, Essex, to Scottish parents who worked at the Essex mental asylum. The mother, Jean Wilson (née Holm), was a nurse, and the father, Doctor James Harvey Cuthbert, was a psychiatrist. Young Holm was raised in London. At the age of seven he was inspired by the seeing 'Les Miserables' and became crazy about acting. Holm studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, had graduated in 1950 to the Royal Shakespeare Company. There he emerged as an actor whose range and effortless style made him to play almost entire Shakespeare's repertoire. In 1959 his stage partner Laurence Olivier scored a hit on Ian Holm in a sword competition in a production of 'Coriolanus'. Holm still had a scar on his finger.

    • In 1965 Holm created his debut on television as Richard III on the BBC's movie The Wars of the Roses (1965), which was a filmed theatrical production of four of Shakespeare's plays condensed down into a trilogy. 
    • In 1969 Holm won his first BAFTA Film Award Best Supporting Actor for The Bofors Gun (1968), then followed a flow of awards and nominations for his numerous works in film and on television. 
    • In 1981, he played one of his best known roles, Sam Mussabini in Chariots of Fire (1981), for which he was nominated for Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.
    •  In the late 1990s, he gave a highly-acclaimed turn as the lawyer, Mitchell, in Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter (1997), and was subsequently cast in a number of high-profile Hollywood films of the next decade, playing Father Vito Cornelius in The Fifth Element (1997), Bilbo in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), and Professor Fitz in The Aviator (2004), as well as Zach Braff's character's father Gideon in Garden State (2004). His last non-Hobbit film role was a voice part as Skinner in Ratatouille (2007).

    Ian Holm had five children, three daughters and two sons from the first two of his four wives and from an additional relationship. In 1989 Holm was created a Commander of the British Empire (CBE), and in 1998 he was knighted for his services to drama. He died in London in June 2020.
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