It is a sad day, indeed. Today the world lost an amazing theatrical soul with the passing of Sir Ian Holm, best known for his roles of Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings, and Ash the android in 1979’s Alien. Mr. Holm passed away at the age of 88 from a long-time battle with Parkinson’s Disease.

Sir Ian Holm: 1939-2020
Sir Ian Holm: 1939-2020

“He died peacefully in hospital, with his family and carer… Charming, kind and ferociously talented, we will miss him hugely.”

Family Statement

The Legacy of Sir Ian Holm

Ian Holm as Ash in 1979's Alien
Ian Holm as Ash in 1979’s Alien

His role in 2001’s The Lord of the Rings was not his first visit to Middle Earth. He voiced Frodo Baggins in the BBC’s radio adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s novel in 1981. He would reprise the role of Bilbo later on in 2012’s The Hobbit. His final portrayal of Bilbo in 2014’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is his last credited role before his passing. Fans of The Fifth Element will also know him as Father Vito Cornelius, which Leeloo could never pronounce right.

Ian Holm as Father Vito Cornelius in The Fifth Element
Ian Holm as Father Vito Cornelius in The Fifth Element

His most famous role that does not fall into our realm of geek pop culture is his Academy Award-nominated portrayal of Sam Mussabini in Chariots of Fire. Sir Ian amassed a huge list of credits across a 57-year stage and screen career worthy of all our geeky adoration.

Parkinson’s Disease: The Great Unknown Killer

It usually starts with tiny tremors in the hands, then slowly and steadily attacks your nervous system. In time, mobility becomes limited, slow and stiff. You lose expression in your face, and speech becomes slurred or slow. Some variations also affect the brain, causing memory loss, cognitive deterioration, and hallucinations. I experienced this last version first-hand. I quit my job in 2014 to care for my father-in-law during his final six months of life battling Parkinson’s with Lewy Body Syndrome.

Dr. William Terrell Moore was his name. He was a career Environmental Engineer of the Department of Defense and diagnosed with the disease shortly after retirement. Modern medicine has yet to discover what causes this dreaded disease. It saddens me to hear of anyone suffering from it, especially people I admire, like my Father-in-law and Sir Ian Holm. Once-great minds are slowly diminished. There is little can be done to stop it. Solace can be found in their passing, as the suffering is finally over. Godspeed, Sir Ian Holm. All of Middle Earth will sorely miss you.

Sourced from: CBR