Alien And Lord Of The Rings Star Ian Holm Dies

Veteran British actor Ian Holm has died. Holm is best known by sci-fi and fantasy fans for his roles in the original Alien and the Lord of the Rings movies, as well as The Fifth Element and Pixar’s Ratatouille. He was 88.

Holm began his acting career on the stage, and by the 1960s was established as one of the UK’s leading Shakespearean actors. In 1965, he won acclaim for playing Richard III in a BBC TV adaptation of The Wars of The Roses, a condensed version Shakespeare’s historical plays, and from then worked increasingly in TV and film.

Holm’s big breakthrough to a worldwide audience came in 1979, when he appeared in Ridley Scott’s hugely successful Alien as villainous android Ash. This was followed by an Oscar-nominated role in the classic 1981 drama Chariots of Fire. Other key roles during this period include two Terry Gilliam films–the comedy fantasy Time Bandits, in which he played Napoleon, and the classic dystopian satire Brazil.

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Holm continued to appear in a mixture of serious drama and more genre-based material throughout the ’90s and 2000s. He acted in two David Cronenberg movies (Naked Lunch and eXiStenZ), appeared as Victor Frankenstein’s father in Kenneth Branagh’s Frankenstein, and as Father Vito Cornelius in Luc Besson’s extravagant 1997 sci-fi movie The Fifth Element. He also provided the voice of Chef Skinner in the 2007 Pixar hit Ratatouille.

For many fans however, his most iconic role will be playing Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies. Although Holm’s screen time was relatively limited in these films, he was a crucial part of their ensemble cast. Holm returned to play the older Bilbo in Jackson’s subsequent adaptations of The Hobbit. 2014’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies was Holm’s final film.

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