IAN HOLM Biography - Actors and Actresses


Biography » actors and actresses » ian holm


Name: Ian Holm                                                                         
Birth name: Ian Holm Cuthbert                                                           
Born: 12 September 1931 Goodmayes, Essex, England                                       
Sir Ian Holm (born 12 September 1931), is an Academy Award-nominated and               
Tony Award-winning English actor known for his stage work and for many film             
roles, including the hobbit Bilbo Baggins in the first and third films of the           
Lord of the Rings film trilogy, Father Vito Cornelius in The Fifth Element and         
the android Ash in Alien.                                                               
Holm was born Ian Holm Cuthbert in Goodmayes, Essex, the son of "relatively             
elderly" Scottish parents. Jean Holm (née Wilson), a nurse, and Dr.                   
James Harvey Cuthbert, a psychiatrist who worked as the superintendent of the           
West Ham Corporation Mental Hospital and was also a pioneer of electric shock           
therapy. He had an older brother, Eric. Holm was educated at Chigwell                   
School and then the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.                                     
Holm was an established star of the Royal Shakespeare Company before making an         
impact on television and film. In 1965, Holm played Richard III in the BBCs             
serialisation of the Wars of the Roses plays, based on the RSC production of the       
plays, and gradually made a name for himself with minor roles in films such as         
Oh! What a Lovely War (1969), Nicholas and Alexandra (1971), Mary, Queen of             
Scots (1971) and Young Winston (1972). In 1967, he won a Tony Award for Best           
Featured Actor in a Play, for playing the role of Lenny in The Homecoming by           
Harold Pinter.                                                                         
His first film role to have a major impact was that of the evil android in             
Ridley Scott's Alien (1979). His portrayal of Sam Mussabini in Chariots of Fire         
(1981), earned him a special award at the Cannes Film Festival and an Academy           
Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Back home in England, he won a BAFTA       
award, for Best Supporting Actor, for Chariots. In the 1980s, he had memorable         
roles in Time Bandits (1981), Greystoke - The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes       
(1984) and Terry Gilliam's Brazil (1985). He played Lewis Carroll, author of           
Alice in Wonderland in the Dennis Potter-scripted fantasy Dreamchild (1985).           
In 1989 he was nominated for a BAFTA award for the TV series Game, Set, and             
Match. Based on the novels by Len Deighton this tells the story of an                   
intelligence officer (Holm) who discovers that his own wife is an enemy spy. He         
continued to perform Shakespeare, and appeared with Kenneth Branagh in Henry V (1989)   
and as Polonius to Mel Gibson's Hamlet (1990).                                         
He raised his profile in 1997 with two prominent roles, as the stressed but             
gentle priest Vito Cornelius in the The Fifth Element and the tormented                 
plaintiff's lawyer in The Sweet Hereafter. In 2001 he starred in From Hell as           
the physician Sir William Withey Gull. The same year he appeared as Bilbo               
Baggins in the blockbuster film The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the           
Ring, having previously played Bilbo's nephew Frodo Baggins in a 1981 BBC Radio         
adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. He reappeared in the trilogy in The Lord of       
the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), for which he shared a SAG award for           
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.                                 
He has been nominated for an Emmy Award twice, for a PBS broadcast of a National       
Theatre production of King Lear, in 1999; and for a supporting role in the HBO         
film The Last of the Blonde Bombshells opposite Judi Dench, in 2001. Holm has           
provided voice-overs for many British TV documentaries and commercials.                 
Holm is a favorite actor of Terry Gilliam, having appeared in Time Bandits and         
Brazil. Holm is also Harold Pinter's favourite actor, the playwright once               
stating: "He puts on my shoe, and it fits!" Holm made a stir as Lenny in the           
first ever performance of Pinter's masterpiece The Homecoming.                         
He has played Napoleon Bonaparte three times. First, in the 1972 television             
series Napoleon and Love. Next, in a cameo comic rendition, in Terry Gilliam's         
Time Bandits from 1981. He completed the set in 2001 playing the fallen and             
exiled leader in the fanciful film The Emperor's New Clothes