Ian Holm

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


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)


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)


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)


From Hell 2001 (Movie)

Sir William Gull (Actor)

Holocaust on Trial 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)


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)


Animal Farm 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)


Beautiful Joe 2000 (Movie)


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)


Skin Deep 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)


Wisconsin Death Trip 1999 (Movie)


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)


Mary Shelley's Frankenstein 1994 (Movie)

Victor's Father (Actor)

The Advocate 1994 (Movie)

Albertus (Actor)

The Borrowers 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)


The Madness of King George 1994 (Movie)

Willis (Actor)

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


Blue Ice 1992 (Movie)

Sir Hector (Actor)

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


Kafka 1991 (Movie)

Doctor Murnau (Actor)

Naked Lunch 1991 (Movie)

Tom Frost (Actor)

The Fever 1991 (Movie)


The Tailor of Gloucester 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)


Hamlet 1990 (Movie)

Polonius (Actor)

Murder By the Book 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)


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


Henry V 1989 (Movie)

Captain Fluellen (Actor)

Another Woman 1988 (Movie)

Ken (Actor)

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


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)


We, the Accused 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)


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)


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


Alien 1979 (Movie)

Ash (Actor)

Les Miserables 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)


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


March Or Die 1977 (Movie)

El Krim (Actor)

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


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)


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)


D-Day 6.6.1944 (TV Show)


Frankenstein (Movie)

Frankenstein (Actor)

Inside the Third Reich (TV Show)


Jesus of Nazareth (TV Show)


The Churchills (TV Show)


The Miracle Maker (TV Show)


The Return of the Borrowers (TV Show)


The Tailor of Gloucester (TV Show)


Uncle Vanya (TV Show)



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.


Sophie Baker Photography

Married 1982 Divorced 1986

James Cuthbert


Jean Cuthbert


Eric Cuthbert

Died of cancer 1944

Bee Gilbert Photography

Lived together in the 1960s

Lissy Holm Casting


Sarah Jane Holm Casting


Barnaby Holm Casting


Jessica Holm


Harry Holm


Alice Massey

Born c. 1978 to Penelope Wilton and Daniel Massey

Lynn Shaw

Married 1955 Divorced 1965

Penelope Wilton Actor

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

Married December 2003


Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

London , England



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


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


Voiced Skinner in the Pixar animated feature "Ratatouille"


Played an eccentric analyst in "The Treatment"


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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);


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


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


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


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


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


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


Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II


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)


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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)


First film with David Cronenberg, "Naked Lunch"


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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"


Reteamed with Lester for "Robin and Marian"


American TV debut, "The Rebel" (CBS)


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


First film with director Richard Lester, "Juggernaut"


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


Acted in Attenborough's "Young Winston"


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


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"


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Holm underwent treatment for prostate cancer in December 2001.