Sir Ian Holm, the versatile actor best known for playing Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the android Ash in Ridley Scott’s Alien has died due to complications from Parkinson’s disease, according to The Guardian. He was 88 years old.
Born in 1931, Holm began his career as a Shakespearean actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company before transitioning over to film and television. His breakout role came with Alien in 1979, where he played Ash, the Nostromo’s science officer who was secretly an Android (and eventually…just a head) and who was responsible for allowing the xenomorph to board the ship. In 1981, he joined the cast of the BBC’s radio adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, voicing Frodo Baggins.
He appeared in numerous other films and TV projects over the years, including Chariots of Fire, The Fifth Element, Ratatouille, and From Hell. But his most prominent role came in 2001, when he was cast as Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. He would later go on to reprise the role of Bilbo in Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
On Facebook, Jackson published a note remembering the late actor, saying that he was “such a delightful, generous man. Quiet, but cheeky, with a lovely twinkle in his eye.”
Others who worked with Holm over the course of his career offered up their own tributes online:
So sad to hear that the singular, brilliant and vibrant, Sir Ian Holm has passed. Farewell, uncle. pic.twitter.com/q9RBKT3hBC
— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) June 19, 2020
— Tom Skerritt (@TRSkerritt) June 19, 2020
Ian Holm took a chance on me and said yes to being in “Garden State” when I had yet to make any other films. He could not have been more supportive and kind and humble. I am so honored I got the opportunity to work with an actor of his legendary caliber. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/lRJV5aVEJx
— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) June 19, 2020
Having portrayed both Frodo and Bilbo in his lengthy career, this is very sad news indeed for the Tolkien community. Namárië! https://t.co/qm9VdHY2lb
— Tolkien Society (@TolkienSociety) June 19, 2020