Ian Holm

Actor
Considering his late arrival to the screen, the more than 100 films and television credits amassed by actor Sir Ian Holm was all the more impressive, given the breadth and inarguable quality displayed in his body of ... Read more »
Born: 09/11/1931 in Essex, England, GB

Filmography

Actor (103)

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 2014 (Movie)

Old Bilbo (Actor)

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 2013 (Movie)

Old Bilbo Baggins (Actor)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 2012 (Movie)

Old Bilbo (Actor)

Wild Blue Yonder 2012 (Movie)

(Actor)

O Jerusalem 2007 (Movie)

Ben Gurion (Actor)

Ratatouille 2007 (Movie)

Voice of Skinner (Actor)

The Treatment 2007 (Movie)

Dr. Ernesto Morales (Actor)

Renaissance 2006 (Movie)

Voice of Jonas Muller (Actor)

Strangers with Candy 2006 (Movie)

Dr. Putney (Actor)

Chromophobia 2005 (Movie)

Edward Aylesbury (Actor)

Lord of War 2005 (Movie)

Simeon Weisz (Actor)

Garden State 2004 (Movie)

Gideon Largeman (Actor)

The Aviator 2004 (Movie)

Professor Fitz (Actor)

The Day After Tomorrow 2004 (Movie)

Terry Rapson (Actor)

Prisoner of Paradise 2003 (Movie)

(Narrator)

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 2003 (Movie)

Bilbo Baggins (Actor)

Esther Kahn 2002 (Movie)

Nathan Quellen (Actor)

The Emperor's New Clothes 2002 (Movie)

Eugene Lenormand (Actor)

Bette Davis: A Basically Benevolent Volcano 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Narrator

From Hell 2001 (Movie)

Sir William Gull (Actor)

Holocaust on Trial 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Narrator

Simon Magus 2001 (Movie)

The Devil (Actor)

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 2001 (Movie)

Bilbo Baggins (Actor)

Alice Through the Looking Glass 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Animal Farm 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Voice

Beautiful Joe 2000 (Movie)

(Actor)

Bless the Child 2000 (Movie)

Reverend Grissom (Actor)

Joe Gould's Secret 2000 (Movie)

Joe Gould (Actor)

Shergar 2000 (Movie)

Joseph Maguire (Actor)

The Last of the Blonde Bombshells 2000 (Movie)

Patrick (Actor)

The Match 2000 (Movie)

Big Tam (Actor)

Existenz 1999 (Movie)

Kiri Vinokur (Actor)

King Lear 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Skin Deep 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Narrator

Wisconsin Death Trip 1999 (Movie)

(Narrator)

A Life Less Ordinary 1997 (Movie)

Naville (Actor)

Night Falls on Manhattan 1997 (Movie)

Liam Casey (Actor)

The Fifth Element 1997 (Movie)

Cornelius (Actor)

The Sweet Hereafter 1997 (Movie)

Mitchell Stephens (Actor)

Big Night 1996 (Movie)

Pascal (Actor)

Loch Ness 1996 (Movie)

Water Bailiff (Actor)

Highgrove: Nature's Kingdom 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Narrator

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein 1994 (Movie)

Victor's Father (Actor)

The Advocate 1994 (Movie)

Albertus (Actor)

The Borrowers 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

The Madness of King George 1994 (Movie)

Willis (Actor)

Elizabeth R: A Year in the Life of the Queen 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Narrator

Blue Ice 1992 (Movie)

Sir Hector (Actor)

Spaceship Earth: A Global Geography 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Narrator

Kafka 1991 (Movie)

Doctor Murnau (Actor)

Naked Lunch 1991 (Movie)

Tom Frost (Actor)

The Fever 1991 (Movie)

(Narrator)

The Tailor of Gloucester 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Hamlet 1990 (Movie)

Polonius (Actor)

Murder By the Book 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Game, Set & Match 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Henry V 1989 (Movie)

Captain Fluellen (Actor)

Another Woman 1988 (Movie)

Ken (Actor)

Mr. and Mrs. Edgehill 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Brazil 1985 (Movie)

Mr Kurtzmann (Actor)

Dance With a Stranger 1985 (Movie)

Desmond Cussen (Actor)

Dreamchild 1985 (Movie)

Reverend Charles L Dodgson (Actor)

Wetherby 1985 (Movie)

Stanley Pilborough (Actor)

Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes 1984 (Movie)

Capitaine Phillippe D'Arnot (Actor)

Laughterhouse 1983 (Movie)

Ben Singleton (Actor)

Miss Morison's Ghosts 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

We, the Accused 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Battle For the Falklands 1981 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

Chariots of Fire 1981 (Movie)

Sam Mussabini (Actor)

The Return of the Soldier 1981 (Movie)

Dr Gilbert Anderson (Actor)

Time Bandits 1981 (Movie)

Napoleon (Actor)

All Quiet on the Western Front 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

S.O.S. Titanic 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

Alien 1979 (Movie)

Ash (Actor)

Les Miserables 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Holocaust -- The Story of the Family Weiss 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

March Or Die 1977 (Movie)

El Krim (Actor)

The Man in the Iron Mask 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

The Thief of Bagdad 1977 (Movie)

Gatekeeper (Actor)

Robin and Marian 1976 (Movie)

King John (Actor)

Shout at the Devil 1975 (Movie)

Mohammed (Actor)

The Rebel 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

Juggernaut 1974 (Movie)

Porter (Actor)

The Homecoming 1972 (Movie)

Lenny (Actor)

Young Winston 1972 (Movie)

George E Buckle (Actor)

Mary, Queen of Scots 1971 (Movie)

David Riccio (Actor)

Nicholas and Alexandra 1971 (Movie)

Yakoviev (Actor)

A Midsummer Night's Dream 1969 (Movie)

Puck (Actor)

A Severed Head 1969 (Movie)

Martin Lynch-Gibbon (Actor)

Oh! What A Lovely War 1969 (Movie)

President Poincare (Actor)

The Bofors Gun 1969 (Movie)

Gunner Flynn (Actor)

The Fixer 1968 (Movie)

Grubeshov (Actor)

A Season of Giants (TV Show)

Actor

D-Day 6.6.1944 (TV Show)

Narrator

Frankenstein (Movie)

Frankenstein (Actor)

Inside the Third Reich (TV Show)

Actor

Jesus of Nazareth (TV Show)

Actor

The Churchills (TV Show)

Narrator

The Miracle Maker (TV Show)

Voice

The Return of the Borrowers (TV Show)

Actor

The Tailor of Gloucester (TV Show)

Actor

Uncle Vanya (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Considering his late arrival to the screen, the more than 100 films and television credits amassed by actor Sir Ian Holm was all the more impressive, given the breadth and inarguable quality displayed in his body of work. Trained on the stages of London, the talented thespian was initially seen in relatively minor roles in such films as "The Bofors Gun" (1968) and "Nicholas and Alexandra" (1971). The reprisal of his Tony-winning role in the film adaptation of Harold Pinter's "The Homecoming" (1973) boosted Holm's reputation among his peers, but did little to increase his modest exposure. His career in film reached an entirely new level, however, after he stunned audiences as a murderous android in the sci-fi horror classic "Alien" (1979), before endearing himself as a nurturing coach in "Chariots of Fire" (1981). An amazing array of performances followed in such efforts as "Time Bandits" (1981), "Brazil" (1985), "Naked Lunch" (1991), "Big Night" (1996) and "The Sweet Hereafter" (1997), all of which were recognized when Holm was knighted by the Queen of England in 1998 for his services in drama. Nearly 40 years into his film career and still going strong, the actor delivered one of his more beloved portrayals as the hobbit Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" (2001). Whether playing a tortured soul, a caring patriarch or an eccentric madman, Holm inhabited each character with an ease that audiences, critics and his fellow actors could only marvel at.

Relationships

Sophie Baker Photography

Wife
Married 1982 Divorced 1986

James Cuthbert

Father
Scottish

Jean Cuthbert

Mother
Scottish

Eric Cuthbert

Brother
Died of cancer 1944

Bee Gilbert Photography

Companion
Lived together in the 1960s

Lissy Holm Photography

Daughter

Sarah Jane Holm Photography

Daughter

Barnaby Holm Photography

Son

Jessica Holm

Daughter

Harry Holm

Son

Alice Massey

Step-Daughter
Born c. 1978 to Penelope Wilton and Daniel Massey

Lynn Shaw

Wife
Married 1955 Divorced 1965

Penelope Wilton Actor

Wife
Married 1991 Acted together in Richard Eyre's "Laughterhouse" (1984), and TNT's "The Borrowers" (1993) and "The Return of the Borrowers" (1996) Divorced 2001

Sophie de Stempel

Wife
Married December 2003

EDUCATION

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

London , England

Milestones

2012

Returned to Middle Earth as Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman played young Bilbo) in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien and directed by Peter Jackson

2009

Narrated British production "1066 The Battle for Middle Earth" (Channel 4)

2007

Voiced Skinner in the Pixar animated feature "Ratatouille"

2007

Played an eccentric analyst in "The Treatment"

2005

Cast in Andrew Niccol's "Lord of War" with Nicolas Cage and Ethan Hawke

2004

Cast as Andrew Largeman's (Zach Braff) father in "Garden State," Braff's writting and directorial debut

2004

Starred with Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal in "The Day After Tomorrow"

2004

Acted opposite Leonardo DiCaprio's Howard Hughes in "The Aviator," directed by Martin Scorsese

2001

Had featured role in the Jack the Ripper drama "From Hell"

2001

Cast as Napoleon in "The Emperor's New Clothes"

2001

Headlined London stage revival of Pinter's "The Homecoming", portraying the patriarch; also briefly played NYC as part of a tribute to the author

2001

Played the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's epic adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy; all three films were shot simultaneously from 1999 to 2000 for release over a three year period: "The Fellowship of the Ring" (2001);

2000

Provided the voice of Pontius Pilate in the animated movie "The Miracle Maker"; aired on ABC in U.S.

2000

Reteamed with Tucci (who directed, co-wrote and co-starred as Mitchell) for "Joe Gould's Secret," based on the character immortalized by New Yorker writer Joe Mitchell

2000

Acted with Judi Dench, Olympia Dukakis, and Leslie Caron in HBO drama "The Last of the Blonde Bombshells"; played a drummer who had dressed in drag to play with an all-female orchestra; received Emmy nomination

2000

Starred opposite Summer Phoenix in the Cannes-screened "Esther Kahn"

1999

Provided voice of Squeeler in TNT's adaptation of George Orwell's "Animal Farm," a mixture of animation and live-action

1999

Reteamed with Cronenberg for "eXistenZ"; cast as an eccentric scientist

1998

Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II

1998

Reprised his acclaimed turn as "King Lear" (again directed by Eyre) for TV; aired in U.S. on PBS; earned Emmy nomination but lost award to Stanley Tucci (for his performance as gossip columnist Walter Winchell)

1998

Starred in London stage production of "King Lear," directed by Richard Eyre

1997

Cast as Cameron Diaz's father in "A Life Less Ordinary"

1997

Earned plaudits for his work as a seedy lawyer in Atom Egoyan's film version of "The Sweet Hereafter"

1997

Perfected a "Noo Yawk" accent for his role as a cop in Sidney Lumet's "Night Falls on Manhattan"

1996

Delivered scene-stealing turn as a rival restaurateur in "Big Night"; co-written, co-directed, and co-starring Stanley Tucci

1994

Reteamed with Branagh for "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein"; cast as the father of Victor Frankenstein (Branagh)

1994

Cast as Dr Willis, one of the physicians who helped cure the monarch in "The Madness of King George"

1993

Returned to the stage after more than a decade in Pinter's "Moonlight"; the playwright had written the role of the embittered, dying patriarch expressly for him

1992

Played Pod in "The Borrowers," two six-part BBC series based on the novels my Brit author Mary Norton; later aired on TNT as "The Borrowers" (1993) and "The Return of the Borrowers" (1996)

1991

First film with David Cronenberg, "Naked Lunch"

1990

Portrayed Polonius in Franco Zeffirelli's "Hamlet," starring Mel Gibson

1989

Played Captain Fluellen in Kenneth Branagh's "Henry V"; Branagh in his autobiography said Holm was "very much of the anything you can do I can do less of school of acting"; statement regarded as a compliment by Holm

1985

Won praise for his performance as a venal bureaucrat in Gilliam's "Brazil"

1985

Portrayed Reverend Charles L Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) in "Dreamchild"

1984

Cast in supporting role in Hudson's "Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes," playing the Belgian explorer who discovered the half-savage Tarzan

1982

Portrayed Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels in ABC miniseries "Inside the Third Reich"

1981

Received Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for portrayal of track coach Sam Mussabini in "Chariots of Fire," directed by Hugh Hudson

1981

First film with director Terry Gilliam, "Time Bandits" as Napoleon

1979

Essayed Ash, the android member of the doomed crew in Ridley Scott's "Alien"

1979

Briefly returned to the stage in Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya" still overcome with stage fright; last theatrical role for 14 years

1978

Portrayed author J.M. Barrie in the British TV drama "The Lost Boys"

1978

Played Nazi S.S. Chief Heinrich Himmler in acclaimed NBC miniseries "Holocaust"

1977

Debut in a U.S. TV miniseries, "Jesus of Nazareth" (NBC)

1976

Overcome with debilitating stage fright during a London preview of Eugene O'Neill's "The Iceman Cometh," walked off and out of show; referred to incident as "my breakdown"

1976

Reteamed with Lester for "Robin and Marian"

1975

American TV debut, "The Rebel" (CBS)

1974

Starred as the French general in Thames Television production "Napoleon and Josephine"

1974

First film with director Richard Lester, "Juggernaut"

1973

Reprised his role as Lenny in the film version of "The Homecoming," directed by Hall

1972

Acted in Attenborough's "Young Winston"

1969

Reteamed with Attenborough as actors in Dick Clement's "A Severed Head," adapted from the Iris Murdoch novel by Frederic Raphael

1968

First film with Hall, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (as Puck); also acted in Richard Attenborough's feature directing debut "Oh! What a Lovely War"

1968

First American-produced film, John Frankenheimer's "The Fixer"

1968

Film acting debut, "The Bofors Gun"; earned a British Film Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor

1967

Broadway debut, reprising Lenny in "The Homecoming" (again directed by Hall); earned Featured Actor in a Play Tony Award

1966

Acted in Thames TV adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Body Snatcher"

1965

Created the role of Lenny in RSC production of Harold Pinter's "The Homecoming," directed by Peter Hall

1959

Portrayed the Fool to Charles Laughton's "King Lear"

1955

Toured Europe with Laurence Olivier in Shakespeare's "Titus Andronicus," playing Mutius

1954

Made professional stage debut as a spear carrier in Royal Shakespeare Company's (then Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon) "Othello"

1954

Spent 14 seasons with the Royal Shakespeare Company, appearing in the classic Shakespearean repertory

Bonus Trivia

.

Remembering the technical help he got from Lee Marvin on "Shout at the Devil" (1976): "He was one of the greatest pros I've ever worked with. On my first day, nervous and shaking and sad to be away from home, I had this silly scene putting up this flag. Marvin had his close-up and then it was my close-up and everybody left except Marvin, who said, 'I'll give you a hinge line here.' I said, 'Sorry?' He said, 'You don't know what the f*ck a hinge line is, do you? I'll play a scene for you off camera and that should give you something to react to.' Amazing, and he did. I thought it was extraordinarily generous." – Holm to Jasper Rees in The Daily Telegraph, Aug. 27, 1997

.

If you've got more than one scene, unless the film is absolute rubbish, you would be hard put as a good actor not to be able to do something with it. And that's what I look for. Can I do something with this seemingly very ordinary-looking part? And, if I think I can, if it's got a scene..."As Jimmy Stewart said, movies are about moments, and that is so right. If you've got a scene with one moment, that's great, you work towards that." – Holm in The Daily Telegraph, Aug. 27, 1997

.

"I'm always waiting for the crash, like all actors. I would love to have started earlier in movies, so one has a lot of catching up to do. And there are only so many things I can do at my age."You have the opportunities given to you, and the powers-that-be don't follow it up. And (then) you get something like this slew of films I've done which don't have any link at all, except somebody said, 'Let's get him.' Now they probably say 'Oh, not him again.'" – Holm quoted in Daily News, Nov. 20, 1997

.

"I'm a small, stumpy guy who came to movies a bit late...Not that I would have been a leading man in my younger days, I don't think. The early part of my career – 13 years – was all in the classics, on stage. Then, after John Frankenheimer came up to Stratford once, he suddenly thought these actors were all quite good, and put us in 'The Fixer' (1968).'" – Holm to Gary Dretzka in the Chicago Tribune, Dec. 22, 1997

.

About Charles Laughton, with whom he acted in a 1959 production of "King Lear": "He was on a bottle of Teacher's a day. Didn't have the vocal power and wasn't quite up to it, I'm afraid." – Holm quoted in production notes from the 1998 TV version of his own "King Lear"

.

"I've always been a minimalist. It was Bogart who once said, 'If you think the right thoughts, the camera will pick it up.' The most important thing in the face is the eyes, and if you can make the eyes talk, then you're halfway there." – Holm to Rich Cohen in Interview, April 2000

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Holm underwent treatment for prostate cancer in December 2001.

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