A legend of an actor has passed on this morning. Most known in the SFF community as Ash in Alien and Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings Trilogy but his work spanned decades and genres.

“It is with great sadness that the actor Sir Ian Holm CBE passed away this morning at the age of 88,” they said. “He died peacefully in hospital, with his family and carer,” adding that his illness was Parkinson’s related. “Charming, kind and ferociously talented, we will miss him hugely.”

Truly he went there and back again, and will be missed dearly.

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    Time is something, ain't it -- a young man in Alien, just as Harry Dean Stanton was and it is hard to believe that both are gone (and that Holm was 88 or that Stanton would now be pushing 100) but as Sarah Bernhardt may have said to Adolph Zukor near the beginning of the movie industry more than a century ago when she saw herself on film: "You have pickled the best of me." (Actual quote: "M'sieu Zukor, you have put the best of me in pickle for all time."
    – releseabe
    Commented Jun 26, 2020 at 16:35

5 Answers 5


He has sailed into the Undying Lands

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I was just discussing Holm with my kids a couple days ago. His other fantasy and science fiction roles included Father Vito Cornelius in The Fifth Element and the voice of Chef Skinner in Ratatouille. In other genres, I remember him particularly for his small role in Branagh's Henry V (where he turned a rather comic role from Shakespeare's script into a round character) and as the protagonish of the British-German spy miniseries Game, Set, and Match.


Ian Holm played Frodo in the BBC radio adaptation of the Lord of the Rings, possibly the only link between this and the Peter Jackson adaptation. He also played Napoleon in Time Bandits.

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Let's not forget the creepy homicidal android Ash from Alien. Truly a multi-talented actor.


He also played a wonderful role in Terry Gilliam's "Brazil", in which he plays Mister Kurtzmann, the main character's first boss (and arguably, the origin of all the main character's troubles, when he "subtly" forced him to correct the Buttle/Tuttle thing himself and had him sign the paperwork).

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