Ian Holm

Ian Holm Photo


Birth Name: Ian Holm Cuthbert

Date of Birth: September 12, 1931

This native of Goodmayes, England was born in an asylum where his father was both doctor and superintendent. He was inspired to taking the acting route after he watched a live stage performance of Les Miserables at age eight. His drive to become an actor was nourished after primary and secondary school. Holm attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Actors, followed by a stint in the National Service. In 1954 he was hired on by the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford-On-Avon where he made his first stage appearance as a spear carrier in the play, Othello.

Throughout the '50s and '60s, Ian continued working onstage in England as well as the United States. Playing in just about every Shakespeare play from King Lear and Henry IV to The Tempest and Twelfth Night, small roles in the 1950s led to lead characters by the 1960s. Other plays include The Cherry Orchard, The Homecoming, The Sea and Other People.

By the late '60s, he'd made his first large screen appearance in The Bofors Gun, for which he earned a BAFTA award for Best Supporting Actor. Other strong performances followed in films like The Homecoming (1973), an android in Alien (1979), a mean-spirited Napolean in Time Bandits (1981), Chariots of Fire (1982), for which he earned an Academy Award® nomination, Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan (1984), Brazil (1985) and Lewis Carroll in Dreamchild (1985).

In 1989 he received the Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his work in the acting profession. Almost ten years later, he received a knighthood from the Queen of England.

Other notable appearances in the '90s and beyond include a jealous, straying husband in Naked Lunch (1991); Dr. Frankenstein's father in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994); a rival restaurateur to brothers Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub in Big Night; a slick lawyer trying to convince members of a community to file a lawsuit after a tragic schoolbus accident in The Sweet Hereafter (1997, for which he won a Genie Award); a bumbling priest Vito Cornelius in The Fifth Element(1997); eXistenZ (1999); the starring role of Joe in Joe Gould's Secret (2000) and an old but cheerful Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003).

He reprised this role for the 2012 prequel The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The film actually follows the adventures of a young Bilbo Baggins but Holm appears at the very beginning of the film to set up the story. He went on to star in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014).

Married and divorced three times, Ian had a total of five children, including actor Barnaby Holm, his son from an unmarried relationship with a professional photographer named "Bee."

In his later years, Ian suffered from Parkinson's disease and died in a London hospital at the age of 88.


The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
The Hobbit: The Deolation of Smaug (2013)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
This Side of the Looking Glass (2007)
Ratatouille (2007) (voice)
O Jerusalem (2006)
Renaissance (2006) (voice)
The Treatment (2006)
O Jerusalem (2006)
Chromophobia (2005)
Lord of War (2005)
Strangers with Candy (2005)
The Aviator (2004)
Garden State (2004)
The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
The Emperor's New Clothes (2002)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
From Hell (2001)
Bless the Child (2000)
Beautiful Joe (2000)
Esther Kahn (2000)
Joe Gould's Secret (2000)
Shergar (1999)
Wisconsin Death Trip (1999) (voice)
The Match (1999)
Simon Magus (1999)
eXistenZ (1999)
A Life Less Ordinary (1997)
The Sweet Hereafter (1997)
The Fifth Element (1997)
Night Falls on Manhattan (1997)
Big Night (1996)
Loch Ness (1995)
The Madness of King George (1994)
Frankenstein (1994)
The Hour of the Pig (1993)
Blue Ice (1992)
The Fever (1991) (voice)
Naked Lunch (1991)
Kafka (1991)
Hamlet (1990)
Henry V (1989)
Another Woman (1988)
Dance with a Stranger (1985)
Dreamchild (1985)
Wetherby (1985)
Brazil (1985)
Laughterhouse (1984)
Terror in the Aisles (1984) (archive footage)
Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984)
The Return of the Soldier (1982)
Time Bandits (1981)
Chariots of Fire (1981)
Alien (1979)
March or Die (1977)
Robin and Marian (1976)
Shout at the Devil (1976)
Juggernaut (1974)
The Homecoming (1973)
Young Winston (1972)
Mary, Queen of Scots (1971)
A Severed Head (1971)
Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Oh! What a Lovely War (1969)
The Fixer (1968)
The Bofors Gun (1968)