The Lord Of The Rings star Sir Ian Holm has been remembered as “charming, kind and ferociously talented”, following his death at the age of 88.
The actor, who was acclaimed for his roles in Chariots Of Fire, Alien and Brazil, was also a prolific and accomplished star of the Royal Shakespeare Company and was described as Harold Pinter’s favourite actor.
He died peacefully in hospital after a Parkinson’s-related illness, with his family and carer at his bedside, his agent said.
Sir Ian, who played Bilbo Baggins in The Lord Of The Rings films and Old Bilbo in The Hobbit franchise, had a long and varied film career that also included The Fifth Element, The Sweet Hereafter, Time Bandits, The Emperor’s New Clothes and The Madness Of King George, as well as a voice role in the animated film Ratatouille.
A statement from his agent, Alex Irwin, said: “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.
“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.”
Sir Ian won a Tony Award for best featured actor as Lenny in Pinter’s play The Homecoming, and his role as Sam Mussabini in Chariots Of Fire earned him a special award at the Cannes Film Festival, a Bafta award and an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor.
His first credited screen performance was in 1957 in an ITV Play Of The Week and he won the first Bafta he was nominated for – for The Bofors Gun, which was released in 1968.
He found a new audience in the 1990s in the role of Pod in the TV adaptation of The Borrowers, in which he starred opposite Dame Penelope Wilton and Rebecca Callard.
He was awarded a knighthood in the 1998 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to drama.