The road goes ever on, beyond what we can see. And today veteran actor Ian Holm passed around the bend and beyond our sight. The British actor – who played Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy – died today due to complications from Parkinson’s disease.
Sir Ian Holm Dies At Age 88
Image via New Line Cinema
Holm’s agent Alex Irwin released a statement this morning to announce the actor’s death. “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. 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.”
Ian Holm was a beloved and well-known figure in genre storytelling. Starting his career in the Royal Shakespeare Company, he played Puck in a Midsummer Night’s Dream. His storied career lists over 100 credits on IMDB, and he was a master of both stage and screen. He also brought the character of Bilbo Baggins to life, imbuing the older hobbit with his trademark charm and wit. But Holm was a genre veteran long before Lord of the Rings. He appeared in classic and cult genre films like Alien, Brazil, The Fifth Element, and many more. In his career he won a BAFTA award, and was nominated for an Academy Award for his supporting role in Chariots of Fire.
Bilbo Will Live Forever
Image via New Line Cinema
There are many roles to remember Sir Ian Holm for, but here at Comic Years we remember him best as Bilbo Baggins. Holm was the natural choice to play the role of Bilbo in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Before he was Bilbo however, he played Frodo in a 1981 radio series for the BBC. And for many genre fans, Sir Ian Holm will always be remembered as a hobbit. His warmth and generosity exemplified all the best traits of a hobbit.
We like to think that much like Bilbo himself, Holm has simply traveled to the Undying Lands of Tolkien’s trilogy. The best way we can commemorate him is with the traveling song that Bilbo often sang in Lord of the Rings. The road is long, and we can never know what lies around the bend but we can only keep moving forward into the unknown. Rest in peace Sir Ian Holm, your legacy will endure long after you’ve traveled beyond us.
“The Road goes ever on and on
Out from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
Let others follow it who can!
Let them a journey new begin,
But I at last with weary feet
Will turn towards the lighted inn,
My evening-rest and sleep to meet.”
Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.