35 Facts About Ian Holm


Ian Holm received numerous accolades including two BAFTA Awards and a Tony Award, along with nominations for an Academy Award and two Emmy Awards.


Ian Holm was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1989 by Queen Elizabeth II.


Ian Holm won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor for his performance in the title role in the 1998 West End production of King Lear.


Ian Holm gained acclaim for his role in The Bofors Gun winning the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.


Ian Holm was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and a BAFTA Award win for his role as athletics trainer Sam Mussabini in Chariots of Fire.


Ian Holm gained wider appreciation for his role as the elderly Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies.


Ian Holm voiced Chef Skinner in the Pixar animated film Ratatouille.


Ian Holm Cuthbert was born on 12 September 1931 in Goodmayes, Essex, to Scottish parents, James Harvey Cuthbert and his wife Jean Wilson.


Ian Holm's father was a psychiatrist who worked as the superintendent of the West Ham Corporation Mental Hospital and was one of the pioneers of electric shock therapy; his mother was a nurse.


Ian Holm had an older brother, who died when Ian was 12 years old.


Ian Holm was educated at the independent Chigwell School in Essex.


Ian Holm's parents retired to Mortehoe in Devon and then to Worthing, where he joined an amateur dramatic society.


Ian Holm's studies were interrupted a year later when he was called up for National Service in the British Army, during which he was posted to Klagenfurt, Austria, and attained the rank of Lance Corporal.


Ian Holm graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1953.


Ian Holm made his stage debut in 1954, at Stratford-upon-Avon, playing a spear-carrier in a staging of Othello.


Ian Holm was an established star of the Royal Shakespeare Company before gaining notice in television and film.


In 1967 Ian Holm won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play as Lenny in The Homecoming by Harold Pinter.


In 1977, Ian Holm appeared in the television mini-series Jesus of Nazareth as the Sadducee Zerah, and a villainous Moroccan in March or Die.


Ian Holm played Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland, in Dreamchild.


In 1989, Ian Holm was nominated for a BAFTA award for the television series Game, Set and Match.


Ian Holm appeared with Kenneth Branagh in Henry V and as Polonius to Mel Gibson's Hamlet.


Ian Holm was reunited with Branagh in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, playing the father of Branagh's Victor Frankenstein.


Ian Holm raised his profile in 1997 with two prominent roles, as the priest Vito Cornelius in Luc Besson's sci-fi The Fifth Element and lawyer Mitchell Stephens in The Sweet Hereafter.


Ian Holm returned for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, for which he shared a SAG award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.


Ian Holm later reprised his role as the elderly Bilbo Baggins in the movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.


Ian Holm was nominated for an Emmy Award twice, for a PBS broadcast of a National Theatre production of King Lear, in 1999; and for a supporting role in the HBO film The Last of the Blonde Bombshells opposite Judi Dench, in 2001.


Ian Holm appeared in two David Cronenberg films: Naked Lunch and eXistenZ.


Ian Holm played Napoleon Bonaparte three times: in the television mini-series Napoleon and Love, Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits, and The Emperor's New Clothes.


Ian Holm received royal recognition for his contributions: He was made CBE in 1989 and knighted in 1998.


Ian Holm was married four times: to Lynn Mary Shaw in 1955 ; to Sophie Baker in 1982 ; to actress Penelope Wilton, in Wiltshire, in 1991 ; and to the artist Sophie de Stempel in 2003.


Ian Holm had two daughters from his first marriage, a son from his second marriage, and a son and daughter from his 15-year relationship with photographer Bee Gilbert.


Ian Holm's last wife, Sophie de Stempel, is a protegee and was a life model of Lucian Freud, as well as an artist in her own right.


Ian Holm was treated for prostate cancer in 2001 and was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.


Ian Holm died in hospital in London on 19 June 2020 at the age of 88.


Ian Holm's ashes are interred on the western side of Highgate Cemetery.