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Ian Holm, actor known for Chariots of Fire and Lord of the Rings, dead at 88

Ian Holm, the acclaimed British actor whose long career included roles in Chariots of Fire, The Lord of the Rings films and Alien, has died. He was 88.

Holm died peacefully Friday morning in a hospital, surrounded by his family and carer, his agent, Alex Irwin, said in a statement. His illness was Parkinson’s-related.

A star of stage and screen, Holm won a Tony Award for best featured actor as Lenny in Harold Pinter’s play The Homecoming in 1967.

An established figure in the Royal Shakespeare Company, he won a Laurence Olivier Award for best actor for his performance in the title role of King Lear in 1998.

Ian Holm, seen at centre in wheelchair, arrives for the U.K. premiere of the film Tolkien in London in April 2019. (Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images)

He won a British Academy Film Award and gained a supporting-actor Oscar nomination for portraying pioneering athletics coach Sam Mussabini in the hit 1982 film Chariots of Fire.

He appeared in films both mainstream and indie, including The Fifth Element, Alien, The Sweet Hereafter, Time Bandits, The Emperor’s New Clothes and The Madness of King George.

More recently, he portrayed Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Holm was knighted in 1998 for his services to drama.

“His sparkling wit always accompanied a mischievous twinkle in his eye,” Irwin said. “Charming, kind and ferociously talented, we will miss him hugely.”

Holm was married four times and had five children.

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