Ian Holm Dead at 88 Star Of Lord Of The Rings, Alien

British actor Ian Holm has died at the age of 88, according to a statement from his agent.

Holm had a long and varied acting career that saw him cast as a slew of characters, including Bilbo Baggins in the “Lord of the Rings” movie trilogy, Ash in Ridley Scott’s “Alien” and athletics coach Sam Mussabini in the 1981 movie “Chariots of Fire,” a performance for which he was nominated for an Oscar.

Born in Essex, southeast England, in 1931, Holm attended the RADA drama school in London.

The statement added: “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.”

In addition to his famous role as the hobbit Bilbo in Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Holm made a name for himself in the fantasy and science fiction genre with roles in movies like “Alien,” “The Fifth Element,” “Time Bandits,” “Frankenstein” and more. He starred in the acclaimed 1981 film “Chariots of Fire,” which earned a best picture win at the Oscars in 1982 and garnered Holm a nomination for best-supporting actor.

Holm was remarkably versatile and, despite his short stature, rarely limited in his selection of roles. He was very much an actor’s actor, too chameleon-like to have a strong star impact. In 1998, he received his knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for his contribution to drama.

Holm had been working as an actor for decades when he first achieved mainstream notice for his work as an android in 1979’s “Alien” and as the Olympic trainer Sam Mussabini in 1981’s “Chariots of Fire.”

Over the next decade the roles became larger and more distinctive, including Napoleon in “Time Bandits,” Polonius in Zeffirelli’s “Hamlet” alongside Mel Gibson, Captain Fluellen in Kenneth Branagh’s “Henry V,” as well as turns in “Dreamchild,” “Brazil,” “Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes,” “Wetherby,” “Dance With a Stranger” and Woody Allen’s “Another Woman.”