- NAME: Ian Holm
- OCCUPATION: Film Actor
- BIRTH DATE: September 12, 1931 (Age: 81)
- EDUCATION: Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Royal Shakespeare Company
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Goodmayes, England, United Kingdom
- Full Name: Sir Ian Holm, CBE
- Originally: Ian Holm Cuthbert
- AKA: Ian Cuthbert
- AKA: Ian Holm
- ZODIAC SIGN: Virgo
Best Known For
Ian Holm is best known for playing Bilbo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. He also had notable parts in Alien, The Fifth Element and The Sweet Hereafter.
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Born on September 12, 1931, in Goodmayes, England, Ian Holm fell in love with acting at age 8, after seeing Les Miserables. Holm is known for playing Bilbo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, directed by Peter Jackson, as well as for notable parts in Alien, The Fifth Element and The Sweet Hereafter. Holm reprised his role as Baggins in the 2012 film The Hobbit.
"As an actor, I'm very much a company person. And this also goes through my life: I have a dread of responsibility. I like someone else to be in charge."
Born Ian Holm Cuthbert on September 12, 1931, in Goodmayes, England, Ian Holm fell in love with acting at the age of 8, after seeing a production of Les Miserables. His mother, Jean Wilson, was a nurse; his father, Harvey Cuthbert, was a psychiatrist. As a young man, Holm studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and spent much of his 30s developing his craft as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
By the late 1960s, Holm began to branch off with small television roles in such shows as Oh! What a Lovely War (1969); ITV Saturday Night Theatre (1969); Mary, Queen of Scots (1971); and Napoleon and Love (1974). While his list of television credits was growing, Holm still appeared on stage, but he succumed to stagefright during a 1976 production of Eugene O'Neil's The Iceman Cometh, famously refusing to leave his dressing room before his second performance. He did one more play following the breakdown, but then took a 14-year hiatus from theater. During that break, he played a number of famous television and film roles.
Holm has credits in more than 40 movies. One of his earliest notable film roles was that of an athletic coach in the 1981 film Chariots of Fire, which earned him an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor. Other notable films include Alien (1979), The Madness of King George (1994) and The Fifth Element (1997). His performance in the 1997 Canadian film The Sweet Hearafter marked his first leading role in a movie; he was widely praised by critics for his part in the film.
In 2001, Holm appeared as Bilbo Baggins in the first installment of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings film trilogy. He reprised the role in Jackson's new film trilogy, The Hobbit, in which actor Martin Freeman plays the younger Bilbo. Often cast in supporting roles, Holm has said he doesn't mind being out of the spotlight. "As an actor, I'm very much a company person," he once stated. "And this also goes through my life: I have a dread of responsibility. I like someone else to be in charge."
Sir Ian Holm was knighted in 1998. He resides in London with his fourth wife, and has five children from his previous relationships. In 2001, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and received treatment in the United States.
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Learn more about the cast of The Hobbit film trilogy, based on the award-winning fantasy novel by famed English author J.R.R. Tolkien, who also wrote the well-received Lord of the Rings book series. Directed by Peter Jackson, The Hobbit franchise encompasses a wealth of talented actors, including Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins), Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Elijah Wood (Frodo), Cate Blanchett (Galadriel), Orlando Bloom (Legolas), Christopher Lee (Saruman) and Benedict Cumberbatch (The Necromancer). Explore this group to learn more about the highly regarded series—which began with 2012's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey—and its abundant cast.
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