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Lifestyle & Human Interest

'Lord of the Rings' and 'Chariots of Fire' Star Ian Holm Dead at 88

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No matter what genre of film you fancy, you’ve probably seen Sir Ian Holm at some point or another. A versatile supporting actor, the talented 88-year-old died Friday due to Parkinson’s-related causes.

“It is with great sadness we can confirm that the actor Sir Ian Holm CBE passed away this morning at the age of 88,” his agent revealed in a statement, according to BBC. “He died peacefully in hospital with his family and carer.”

Holm appeared in over 90 films, according to his BBC obituary, which called him “the consummate supporting actor, happy to let others bask in the limelight of stardom.”

He didn’t seem to mind the fact that he was never the lead, preferring to dodge what he called the “dread of responsibility” that comes with front-and-center roles.

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“As an actor, I’m very much a company person,” Holm said. “I have a dread of responsibility. I like someone else to be in charge.”

During his younger years, Holm was bullied in school. He eventually found his place on the stage, and theater became his safety.

For years he performed, fancying renditions of Shakespeare and developing his talent, but in 1976 he left the stage for nearly 20 years after suffering from a sudden, severe attack of stage fright.

Venturing into film, it wasn’t long before the actor was landing recognizable roles. Playing an android in the 1979 “Alien,” Holm found the work gruesome.

“It wasn’t a particularly pleasant film to do,” he said, according to the BBC. “It was 16 weeks of bloody hard work down at Shepperton Studios.”

Two years later, he was professional coach Sam Mussabini in “Chariots of Fire.” For his role, he received an Oscar nomination and a BAFTA award — one of six for which he would be nominated.

In 1988 and 1989, Holm was given a knighthood and a Commander of the British Empire award for his “contribution to drama.”

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He took on what for many was his most recognizable role — as Bilbo Baggins in the 2001 “Fellowship of the Rings” — after having played Frodo on BBC Radio years before.

“I’m never the same twice,” Holm told the Los Angeles Times in 2000, “and I’m not a movie star-type, so people don’t demand that I’m always the same.”

His presence in a variety of roles across many films will ensure his place in minds and hearts for years to come.

“His portrayal of Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings trilogies ensured the magic of his craft could be shared by all generations,” his agent said in a statement, according to CNN.

“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 will miss him hugely.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking