Ian Holm biography
SIR IAN HOLM
Birth Name: Ian Holm Cuthbert
Date of Birth: September 12, 1931
This native of Goodmayes, England was born in an asylum where his father
was both doctor and superintendent. He was inspired to taking the acting
route after he watched a live stage performance of Les Miserables at
His drive to become an actor was nourished after primary and
secondary school. Holm attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Actors,
followed by a stint in the National Service.
In 1954 he was hired on by the
Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford-On-Avon where he made his first
stage appearance as a spear carrier in the play, Othello.
Throughout the '50s and '60s Holm continued working onstage in
England as well as the United States.
Playing in just about every
Shakespeare play from King Lear and Henry IV to The Tempest
and Twelfth Night, small roles in the 1950s led to lead characters by the
1960s. Other plays include The Cherry Orchard, The
Homecoming, The Sea and Other People.
By the late '60s, he'd made his first large screen appearance in The
Bofors Gun, for which he earned a BAFTA award for Best Supporting Actor.
strong performances followed in films like The Homecoming (1973), an
android in Alien (1979), a mean-spirited Napolean in Time Bandits
(1981), Chariots Of Fire (1982), for which he earned an Academy
Award® nomination, Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan (1984), Brazil (1985)
and Lewis Carroll in Dreamchild (1985).
In 1989 he had received the Commander of the Order of the British Empire
for his work in the acting profession.
Almost ten years later, he received
a knighthood from the Queen of England.
Other notable appearances in the '90s and beyond include a jealous, straying
husband in Naked Lunch (1991); Dr. Frankenstein's father in Mary Shelley's
Frankenstein (1994); a rival restaurateur to brothers Stanley Tucci and Tony
Shalhoub in Big Night; a slick lawyer trying to convince members of a
community to file a lawsuit after a tragic schoolbus accident in The Sweet
Hereafter (1997, for which he won a Genie Award); a bumbling priest Vito Cornelius in The Fifth Element(1997); eXistenZ (1999); the starring role of Joe in Joe Gould's Secret
(2000) and an old but cheerful Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins in the Lord of the
Rings trilogy (2001-2003). He reprised this role for the 2012 prequel The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The film actually follows the adventures of a young Bilbo Baggins but Holm appears at the very beginning of the film to set up the story.
More recently, he starred in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014).
Married and divorced three times, Holm has a total of five children, including actor Barnaby Holm, his son from an unmarried relationship with a professional photographer named "Bee."
Ian Holm Filmography