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Saying Goodbye to Sir Ian Holm: A Knight of the Arts (1931-2020)

A blog from intern Andrea Ibarra!

On June 19th, 2020 the world said goodbye to a hero of the arts. From stage to film, sci-fi to fantasy, Sir Ian Holm did it all. 

Before he took his place on the silver screen, Holm spent his time on the stage. Holm began acting at a very young age. He studied for years even after having to stop in order to serve in the British Army. He returned to the stage and worked on honing his craft and made his way to perform at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Some of his most iconic stage roles included Troilus in The Royal Shakespeare Theatre’s run of Troilus and Cressida in 1960 and King Lear in Cottesloe Theatre’s run of King Lear in 1997. There does not seem to be any play in his stage repertoire in which he does not have a lead role.

Holm made his film debut in 1968 in a supporting role for the film The Bofors Gun, of which he later won a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor. It was his first film and he was already being recognized for his work. From there, his acting career took off. He went on to perform in over 70 films throughout his life. Some notable roles include Ash from the 1979 film Alien, the voice of Chef Skinner in Pixar’s Ratatouille, and the beloved (older) Bilbo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit series.

In 1972, Holm took his career to a different medium: Television. While most of his television career was done through the BBC, including his start with the series BBC Play of the Month, his roles were balanced between TV series and films made for TV.

In 1989, he was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire which is an award recognizing the individuals’ contributions to a certain service, in Holm’s case it was the arts. In 1998, Ian Holm became Sir Ian Holm. That’s right. He was knighted by the Queen of England for his “Service to Drama.” Throughout his career, he was nominated for over 40 awards and won over 25 of those awards.

Sir Ian Holm left no generation untouched. We were all given a chance to see and admire his work. While he is no longer able to share his talent in new content we as an audience must honor his legacy and look at the adventurous he has gone on and shared with us. From the lands of Shakespeare, space, Paris, and Middle-earth.

Now, he is “quite ready for another adventure.”


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