Film and stage actor Ian Holm dies at age 88 after long battle with Parkinson’s disease

A respected stage and screen actor has died this week at the age of 88, his agent confirmed.

Ian Holm established his lengthy career in the Royal Shakespeare Company before taking roles in several popular films. According to The Guardian, the actor died as a result of complications caused by Parkinson’s disease.

“He died peacefully”

According to The Guardian, Holm was diagnosed with the disease many years ago, and his agent confirmed it contributed to his death.

“It is with great sadness that the actor Sir Ian Holm CBE passed away this morning at the age of 88,” the statement announced. “He died peacefully in hospital, with his family and carer.”

The statement described him as “[c]harming, kind and ferociously talented,” The Guardian noted, and his wife published a series of pastel portraits meant to document his final days.

Fans will recognize him from such iconic roles as that of Sam Mussabani in Chariots of Fire and Bilbo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings franchise.

After getting his start in 1957 with a credit in the televisions series ITV Play of the Week, he became an original member of the RSC in 1960.

“A privilege to work with”

Holm reportedly left his theater career behind in 1976 due to issues with stage fright, successfully transitioning into a film actor. As The Guardian noted, fans and fellow thespians alike offered their thoughts and condolences upon learning of his death.

“Watching Ian Holm perform taught me so much – as Ian was being his usual quiet self, that just somehow happened,”Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson wrote in his tribute to the actor, according to Deadline. “It was a privilege to work with him, and a blessing to know him.”

One video game enthusiast described an online gathering of players as part of a game related to the film franchise, saying that there “was music and mourning, and we all wished Ian Godspeed on this last of journeys,” according to PC Gamer.

Over a career that spanned decades, this acclaimed actor has given audiences from multiple generations something to celebrate as they remember his impact in the realm of entertainment.

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