English actor, Sir Ian Holm Cuthbert, popularly known as Ian Holm, died at the ripe age of 88 years old after battling Parkinson’s disease. Ian Holm was an award-winning actor who famously played the role of Bilbo Baggin in the popular movie trilogy The Lord of the Rings. He also reprised the same role for the later Hobbits series. 

Sir Ian Holm Cuthbert has also featured in other hit movies such as Alien, Chariot of Fire, Henry V, The Day After Tomorrow, amongst others. 

Early this year, January precisely, Ian Holm and his wife, Sophie de Stempel, attended the Newport Beach Film Festival. It is assumed that this was the last time Sir Holm was seen in public before his recent passing. 

Sir Cuthbert was born on 12 September 1931 in a little town in Essex. His father was a psychiatrist who was one of the pioneers of electric shock therapy that has become globally acknowledged today. Ian’s mother was a nurse. He lost his only older brother when he was twelve years old. Ian graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1953 and made his stage debut in 1954 where he played a spear-carrier in the staging of William Shakespeare’s Othello. 

He was known for his thriving career both on screen and on stage, especially when he played the memorable role of King Leah for which he won the 1998 Olivier Award for best actor. That same year, he was also knighted at Buckingham Palace for his service to acting. Sir Ian Holm was a close friend of Queen Elizabeth. He also got the nomination for an Oscar for his outstanding performance in the 1981 hit movie, Chariot of Fire. 

Before becoming such a huge figure on television, Sir Holm was already an established star of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He played the role of Richard III in the drama The War of the Roses which was serialised by BBC in 1965. And so his movie career journeyed from there. In 1969, he starred in the television play Moonlight on the Highway. He won his first major award in 1967 where he received a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his role as Lenny in a Play titled The Homecoming. 

Only a few people know that he has played the role of Frodo Baggins before playing that of Bilbo Baggins. In 1981, Sir Ian Holm acted Frodo Baggins in the BBC radio adaptation of The Lord of the Rings written by J.R.R. Tolkien. 

In 1955, Sir Holm married Lynn Mary but the marriage was dissolved ten years later in 1965. Then he went on to marry Sophie Baker in 1982, again the marriage got dissolved in 1986. In Wiltshire in 1991, he married actress Penelope Wilton and divorced her in 2002. The two appeared together in 1993 in the BBC miniseries The Borrower. Then in 2003, he married the artist Sophie de Stempel. 

Holm had two two daughters from his first marriage, a son from his second, and another son and daughter from his relationship with Bill Gilbert, a photographer. His last wife was a protégée of the British painter and draughtsman Lucian Michael Freud. In 2001, Sir Ian Holm was treated for prostate cancer. 

He died in a London hospital on June 19, 2020. 

Brief Eulogy 

A great actor has departed from the shores of the breathing. 

He has ceased to reprise any further role because he is hereby bereft of life. 

Ian now rests in peace; he has bravely crushed the bucket and begs for no more water from the well of life. 

He has broken the twig, bitten into the evalasting dust, snuffed it into his entrails and has breathed his very last. 

He is gone, 

Yes, he is gone. 

Ian has departed to greet his Maker, and we all know he has left to entertain the angels, 

Just like he has done to us all. 

Goodbye, dear friend,

Adieu sire, 

You are the One Ring, 

Continue ruling them all!