Rings, Hobbit, Chariots star Ian Holm dies

Leading British actor Sir Ian Holm has died aged 88 after a celebrated career

Sir Ian Holm, star of The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit, has died aged 88.

"It is with great sadness we can confirm that the actor Sir Ian Holm CBE passed away this morning at the age of 88," Alex Irwin, from Markham, Froggatt & Irwin, said.

"He died peacefully in hospital, with his family and carer. His illness was Parkinson's-related".

"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.

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

Sir Ian was many things to many people - Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's Lord Of The Rings trilogy, Father Vito Cornelius in The Fifth Element and android double agent Ash in Alien.

Younger viewers might treasure his turn as the grumpy old hobbit whose adventures across Middle Earth prompted encounters with dwarves, dragons and the One Ring.

The older generation might recall his electric portrayal of Harold Abrahams' running coach Sam Mussabini in the Oscar-winning Chariots Of Fire.

Widely considered one of the greatest British actors, Sir Ian was a favourite among critics, the public and fellow actors.

Born on September 12.1931 in Goodmayes, Essex, his presence was coveted by directors, and he worked alongside Martin Scorsese, Stanley Tucci, David Cronenberg and Woody Allen.

Across more than 100 roles in films, television and on stage, he secured a Laurence Olivier award, a Tony and a BAFTA, and was a member of the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company.