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Lord of The Rings star Ian Holm dies aged 88

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Actor Ian Holm has died aged 88.

The Lord Of The Rings actor passed away in hospital today (June 19), his agent confirmed.

“It is with great sadness that the actor Sir Ian Holm CBE passed away this morning at the age of 88,” his agent told the Guardian.

They added: “He died peacefully in hospital, with his family and carer,” adding that his illness was Parkinson’s related. They described him as “charming, kind and ferociously talented” and that they would “will miss him hugely.”

Holm began his career on stage, becoming a star of the Royal Shakespeare Company before starring in the BBC adaptation of War Of The Roses in 1965.

In 1967, he was awarded a Tony for playing Lenny in Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming, but quit the stage in the mid-70s after a severe case of stage fright, suffering ‘a sort of breakdown’ during a performance of The Iceman Cometh.

Ian Holm as King Lear for the RSC – Credit: Getty

Two years later, he played Sam Mussabini in Chariots of Fire, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor, a Bafta win and a special award at Cannes Film Festival.

Holm later starred in films including Time Bandits, Dreamchild and Brazil, and in 1997, he appeared as Vito Cornelius in The Fifth Element.

Amongst younger fans he is most famously known for playing played Bilbo Baggins in 2001’s Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring.

From there on he went on to play Baggins in 2003’s The Return Of The King, and played an elder Baggins in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – in which the younger Bilbo was played by Sherlock star Martin Freeman.

His last film credit was in 2014 for The Battle Of Five Armies.

Following the news of his death, social media broke out in tributes for the late star. Edgar Wright said: “RIP Ian Holm, a genius actor who brought considerable presence to parts funny, heartbreaking & terrifying. Thanks for Bilbo, Napoleon (twice), Sweet Hereafter, Big Night, Brazil and, of course the iconic Ash.”

The BFI wrote: “We’re saddened to hear that Sir Ian Holm, star of Lords of the Rings and Alien, has passed away”

You can read more of the tributes below:

This is a breaking news story – more to follow…

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