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Certain film franchises became pop culture events during their release, and Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy definitely falls under that category. The movies were gorgeous and cinematic, adapting J. R. R. Tolkien's beloved novels for the big screen. Among the stellar cast of actors was Sir Ian Holm, who played hobbit Bilbo Baggins in both the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit franchises. Holms had a long and celebrated career in film, but has unfortunately passed away at the age of 88.
Given how his career has affected generations of moviegoers, Sir Ian Holm's death is sure to be felt throughout the industry. News of his death came from Holm's agent himself (via USA Today). The reasons for his death were reportedly due to his ongoing battle with Parkinson's disease. The late actor is survived by his wife Sophie de Stempel. Holm's official statement on the matter reads:
It is with great sadness we can confirm that the actor Sir Ian Holm CBE passed away this morning at the age of 88. He died peacefully in hospital, with his family and carer. His illness was Parkinson’s related. 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.
Given Ian Holm's lengthy resume, plenty of actors and directors have the privilege of working with the late actor. Baby Driver's Edgar Wright posted a tribute to Holm on social media, check it out below.
Edgar Wright's tribute to Ian Holm shows just how many iconic properties the actor was in. Aside from his work in The Lord of the Rings, Holm had a ton of iconic roles in beloved film projects. He played antagonist Ash in the original Alien movie, as well as Father Vito Cornelius in The Fifth Element. And those looking for a lighter movie jaunt can hear his voice performance as Chef Skinner in Disney's Ratatouille. Other credits include The Day After Tomorrow, Garden State, and The Aviator.
Aside from his work on the screen, Ian Holm is also celebrated for his career as a theater actor, as well as television work. The BAFTAs posted their own tribute to Holm on social media, check it out below.
Considering just how popular the Lord of the Rings is, there are droves of fans who are no doubt devastated to hear the news about Ian Holm has died at 88. While that's a long life with a celebrated career, he's got a special place in moviegoers' hearts as Bilbo Baggins. One sweet fan tribute used Bilbo's words and fate to mirror the actor's passing, to powerful results. Check it out below.
Clearly Sir Ian Holm is an actor whose work has really resonated with people. It's for this reason that so many moviegoers will be mourning today, and likely doing some re-watches of his more iconic roles. But there is some comfort in knowing he passed peacefully, surrounded by love. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this time.