British actor Sir Ian Holm, with a long career which included roles in Chariots of Fire and The Lord of the Rings has died aged 88, Friday morning, in a hospital, of an illness Parkinson's-related.
He was surrounded by his family. Sir Ian won a Tony Award for best featured actor as Lenny in Harold Pinter's play The Homecoming in 1967, a Laurence Olivier Award for best actor for his performance in the title role of King Lear in 1998 and also a British Academy Film Award and a supporting-actor Oscar nomination for portraying pioneering athletics coach Sam Mussabini in the hit 1982 film Chariots of Fire. He appeared in The Fifth Element, Alien, The Sweet Hereafter, Time Bandits, The Emperor's New Clothes and The Madness of King George. He was celebrated for interpretations of most of the Shakespeare canon, including a towering King Lear. hHis finest work was contained in independently made productions like Oscar best picture Chariots of Fire. Sir Ian also worked regularly on British television series such as The Borrowers, Bells, Mr. and Mrs. Edgehill, We the Accused and Game Set and Match.
During his career, he had distinctive roles as Napoleon in Time Bandits, Polonius in Zeffirelli's Hamlet alongside Mel Gibson, Captain Fluellen in Kenneth Branagh's Henry V. During the '90s he had meaty starring roles in Steven Soderbergh's Kafka and David Cronenberg's Naked Lunch as well as in Nicholas Hytner's The Madness of King George, Branagh's Frankenstein and The Fifth Element. He was also a presence in Stanley Tucci's Big Night and Joe Gould's Secret and, especially, in Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter. He was also one of the starring voices in the stylish animated film noir sci-fier Renaissance and the delightful animated feature Ratatouille. He narrated the documentaries Stalin, Elizabeth R: A Year in the Life of the Queen and Hiroshima: The Decision to Drop the Bomb; The Seas of Zanzibar and Skin Deep, both for the Discovery Channel; and Holocaust on Trial for PBS.