The veteran British actor, who appeared in films such as Alien and Chariots of Fire, suffered from a Parkinson’s disease-related illness in his later life, with his agent confirming his death on Friday (19 June).
The British film industry came together on social media to mourn Holm, with Bafta writing: “We are very sorry to hear of the death of Ian Holm. Nominated for 6 Baftas in his wide-ranging and successful career across TV and film, he is pictured here winning the Supporting Actor award for his role in Chariots Of Fire in 1981.”
Holm’s Lord of the Rings co-star Dominic Monaghan, who played Merry Brandybuck in the fantasy franchise, shared a picture of the cast to Instagram, writing: “Off to the Grey Havens goes dear Ian Holm. Pete Jackson said he was the best actor he had ever worked with. I studied him whenever I could. On set and off it, he was a magical man. So sweet. So full of twinkle. So GOOD at it all. Namarie Uncle Bilbo xoxo.”
Actor Samuel West shared his sadness at Holm’s death, tweeting: “Daughter just asked why I was so sad. ‘Ian Holm died.’ ‘Who’s Ian Holm?’ ‘An actor.’ ‘A great actor?’ ‘Yes. A great actor.’”
He was joined by Baby Driver director Edgar Wright, who wrote: “RIP Ian Holm, a genius actor who brought considerable presence to parts funny, heartbreaking & terrifying. Thanks for Bilbo, Napoleon (twice), Sweet Hereafter, Big Night, Brazil and, of course, the iconic Ash.”
Eddie Izzard said: “The great Ian Holm is dead. Wonderful actor and it’s so sad to see him go. Farewell, you did great work Sir,” while Reece Shearsmith tweeted: “RIP Sir Ian Holm. What an actor. A lifetime of incredible performances.”
Many filmmakers shared their personal memories of Holm, with actor Colin O’Donoghue tweeting: “Although I never met him, when I was an out of work actor with little money, I went to London for an audition and was asked to stay over for a call back the next day.
“I didn’t have accommodation, so one of the casting directors asked her father, who was away, if I could stay in his apartment. They very kindly said yes. I was genuinely touched that he would let a complete stranger stay in his home. It turned out to be Ian Holm’s apartment. What a gentleman!”
Holm is survived by his wife, the artist Sophie de Stempel, and his five children, Jessica, Sarah-Jane, Melissa, Barnaby and Harry.