'Lord Of The Rings' star Ian Holm dies at 88

Julia Hunt

Actor Ian Holm has died at the age of 88.

The Lord Of The Rings star, who had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, passed away today (Friday).

His agent said in a statement: “It is with great sadness we can confirm that the actor Sir Ian Holm CBE passed away this morning at the age of 88.

“He died peacefully in hospital, with his family and carer. His illness was Parkinson’s related.”

Actor Ian Holm performs in King Lear, at the Royal National Theatre. By: William Shakespeare. (Photo by robbie jack/Corbis via Getty Images)

The statement went on: “He was a genius of stage and screen, winning multiple awards and loved by directors, audiences and his colleagues alike.

“His sparkling wit always accompanied a mischievous twinkle in his eye.   

Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins in 'Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring'. (Credit: Warner Bros)

“Charming, kind and ferociously talented, we will miss him hugely.”

Holm started his silver screen career in the 60s and became known for films such as The Homecoming and Chariots Of Fire, in which he played athletics coach Sam Mussabini.

Read more: Andy Serkis was told not to play Gollum in Lord Of The Rings

He was nominated for an Oscar for his performance.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: Sir Ian Holm attends the "Tolkien" UK premiere at The Curzon Mayfair on April 29, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

More recently, he starred as Father Vito Cornelius in The Fifth Element and played Bilbo in the Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit films.

He also played Professor Fitz in The Aviator.

Read More: How to watch Andy Serkis reading The Hobbit online

Tributes have poured in on social media, with the BFI saying they were “saddened” at the news.

Actor David Oakes said: “So sorry to hear of the passing of the great Ian Holm.

“Was only watching him be brilliant in ‘Chariots…’ last week.

“But however much I love ‘Brazil’ & ‘Alien’ - and it’s funny how great performancers inhabit formative times in one’s youth - it is his Pod I have ingrained in me.”

BAFTA shared a picture of Holm holding his supporting actor award for Chariots Of Fire.

Filmmaker Edgar Wright tweeted: “RIP Ian Holm, a genius actor who brought considerable presence to parts funny, heartbreaking & terrifying.

“Thanks for Bilbo, Napoleon (twice), Sweet Hereafter, Big Night, Brazil and, of course the iconic Ash. ‘I can't lie to you about your chances, but... you have my sympathies’.”

Eddie Izzard tweeted: “The great Ian Holm is dead. Wonderful actor and it’s so sad to see him go.

“Farewell, you did great work Sir.”

Holm was married to wife Sophie de Stempel from 2003 until his death.

The actor had five children.