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Ian Holm

Ian Holm

Popularly known as "Mr. Ubiquitous" thanks to his versatility as a stage and screen actor, Ian Holm is one of Britain's most acclaimed -- to say nothing of steadily employed -- performers. Although the foundations of his career were built on the stage, he has become an increasingly popular onscreen presence in his later years. Holm earned particular plaudits for his work in Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter (1997), in which he played an emotionally broken lawyer who comes to a small town that has been devastated by a recent school bus crash. Born on September 12, 1931, Holm came into the world in a Goodmayes, Ilford, mental asylum, where his father resided as a psychiatrist and superintendent. When he wasn't tending to the insane, Holm's father took him to the theatre, where he was first inspired, at the age of seven, by a production of Les Miserables starring Charles Laughton. The inspiration carried him through his adolescence -- which, by his account, was not a happy one -- and in 1950, Holm enrolled at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Coincidentally, while a student at RADA, he ended up acting with none other than Laughton himself. Following a year of national service, Holm joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, making his stage debut as a sword carrier in Othello. In 1956, after two years with the RSC, he debuted on the London stage in a West End production of Love Affair; that same year, he toured Europe with Laurence Olivier's production of Titus Andronicus. Holm subsequently returned to the RSC, where he stayed for the next ten years, winning a number of awards. Among the honors he received were two Evening Standard Actor of the Year Awards for his work in Henry V and The Homecoming; in 1967, he won a Tony Award for his performance in the Broadway production The Homecoming. The diminutive actor (standing 5'6") made his film debut as Puck in Peter Hall's 1968 adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream, a production that Holm himself characterized as "a total disaster." Less disastrous was that same year's The Bofors Gun, a military drama that earned Holm a Best Supporting Actor BAFTA. He went on to appear in a steady stream of British films and television series throughout the '70s, doing memorable work in films ranging from Mary, Queen of Scots (1971) to Alien (1978), the latter of which saw him achieving a measure of celluloid immortality as Ash, the treacherous android. Holm's TV work during the decade included a 1973 production of The Homecoming and a 1978 production of Les Miserables, made a full 40 years after he first saw it staged with Charles Laughton. Holm began the '80s surrounded by a halo of acclaim garnered for his supporting role as Harold Abrahams' coach in Chariots of Fire (1981). Nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, he won both a BAFTA and Cannes Festival Award in the same category for his performance. Not content to rest on his laurels, he played Napoleon in Terry Gilliam's surreal Time Bandits that same year; he and Gilliam again collaborated on the 1985 future dystopia masterpiece Brazil. Also in 1985, Holm turned in one of his greatest -- and most overlooked -- performances of the decade as Desmond Cussen, Ruth Ellis' steadfast, unrequited admirer in Dance with a Stranger. He also continued to bring his interpretations of the Bard to the screen, providing Kenneth Branagh's Henry V (1989) with a very sympathetic Fluellen and Franco Zeffirelli's Hamlet (1990) with a resolutely meddlesome Polonius. The following decade brought with it further acclaim for Holm on both the stage and screen. On the stage -- from which he had been absent since 1976, when he suffered a bout of stage fright -- he won a number of honors, including the 1998 Olivier Award for Best Actor for his eponymous performance in King Lear; he also earned Evening Standard and Critics Circle Awards for his work in the play, as well as an Emmy nomination for its television adaptation. On the screen, Holm was shown to great effect in The Madness of King George (1994), which cast him as the king's unorthodox physician, Atom Egoyan's aforementioned The Sweet Hereafter (1997), and Joe Gould's Secret (1999), in which he starred in the title role of a Greenwich Village eccentric with a surprising secret. In 2000, Holm took on a role of an entirely different sort when he starred as Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's long awaited adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Holm, who was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1989, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998 for his "services to drama." After the final installment in the Lord of the Rings trilogy was released in 2003, Holm took a role in completely different kind of film. 2004's Garden State was a far cry from the epic, big-budget fantasy he'd just starred in and rather, was a quiet, independent film written, directed, produced by and starring the young Zach Braff. Holm's portrayal of the flawed but well-meaning father a confused adult son was a great success, and he went on to play equally complex and enjoyable supporting roles in a variety of films over the next year, from the Strangers with Candy movie to Lord of War. In 2006, Holm signed on to lend his voice to the casts of two animated films: the innovative sci-fi noir, Renaissance, and the family feature Ratatouille--slated for release in 2006 and 2007 respectively. He also joined the cast of the controversial drama O Jerusalem, a movie about a friendship between a Jewish and Arab man during the creation of the state of Israel. ~ Rebecca Flint Marx, All Movie Guide


Filmography of Ian Holm:

Ian Holm Trivia

When was Ian Holm born?
Ian Holm was born on September 12, 1931

What role did Ian Holm play in The Lost Boys?
Ian Holm played James Barrie in The Lost Boys

Who did Ian Holm portray in The Emperor's New Clothes?
Ian Holm was Napoleon Bonaparte/Eugene Lenormand in The Emperor's New Clothes

Who did Ian Holm play in Wisconsin Death Trip?
Ian Holm was Narrator in Wisconsin Death Trip

Who did Ian Holm play in King Lear?
Ian Holm was King Lear in King Lear

What role did Ian Holm play in The Sweet Hereafter?
Ian Holm played Mitchell Stephens in The Sweet Hereafter

What role did Ian Holm portray in Ratatouille?
Ian Holm played Skinner in Ratatouille

What role did Ian Holm play in Prisoner of Paradise?
Ian Holm played Narrator in Prisoner of Paradise

Who did Ian Holm play in The Last of the Blonde Bombshells?
Ian Holm was Patrick in The Last of the Blonde Bombshells

Who did Ian Holm play in Shergar?
Ian Holm was Joseph in Shergar

What role did Ian Holm portray in Esther Kahn?
Ian Holm played Nathan Quellen in Esther Kahn

What role did Ian Holm play in Alice Through the Looking Glass?
Ian Holm played The White Knight in Alice Through the Looking Glass

Who did Ian Holm portray in The Advocate?
Ian Holm was Albertus in The Advocate

Who did Ian Holm portray in Wetherby?
Ian Holm was Stanley Pilborough in Wetherby

Who did Ian Holm play in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes?
Ian Holm was Capt. Phillippe D'Arnot in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes

What role did Ian Holm play in The Treatment?
Ian Holm played Dr. Morales in The Treatment

What role did Ian Holm play in The Day After Tomorrow?
Ian Holm played Terry Rapson in The Day After Tomorrow

What role did Ian Holm play in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring?
Ian Holm played Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Who did Ian Holm play in From Hell?
Ian Holm was Sir William Gull in From Hell

What role did Ian Holm portray in Animal Farm?
Ian Holm played Squealer in Animal Farm

What role did Ian Holm play in The Fifth Element?
Ian Holm played Victor Cornelius in The Fifth Element

Who did Ian Holm portray in Loch Ness?
Ian Holm was The Water Bailiff in Loch Ness

What role did Ian Holm play in The Madness of King George?
Ian Holm played Dr. Willis in The Madness of King George

Who did Ian Holm portray in Naked Lunch?
Ian Holm was Tom Frost in Naked Lunch

What role did Ian Holm play in Dance with a Stranger?
Ian Holm played Desmond Cussen in Dance with a Stranger

Who did Ian Holm play in Blue Ice?
Ian Holm was Sir Hector in Blue Ice

What role did Ian Holm play in Another Woman?
Ian Holm played Ken Post in Another Woman

Who did Ian Holm portray in Renaissance?
Ian Holm was Dr. Jonas Muller in Renaissance

Who did Ian Holm play in Lord of War?
Ian Holm was Simeon Weisz in Lord of War

Who did Ian Holm play in Garden State?
Ian Holm was Gideon Largeman in Garden State

What role did Ian Holm portray in eXistenZ?
Ian Holm played Kiri Vinokur in eXistenZ

Who did Ian Holm portray in Night Falls on Manhattan?
Ian Holm was Liam Casey in Night Falls on Manhattan

What role did Ian Holm portray in Big Night?
Ian Holm played Pascal in Big Night

Who did Ian Holm portray in Henry V?
Ian Holm was Fluellen in Henry V

Who did Ian Holm play in Oh! What a Lovely War?
Ian Holm was President Poincare in Oh! What a Lovely War

Who did Ian Holm play in A Life Less Ordinary?
Ian Holm was Naville in A Life Less Ordinary

What role did Ian Holm play in Time Bandits?
Ian Holm played Napolean in Time Bandits

Who did Ian Holm play in The Return of the Soldier?
Ian Holm was Dr. Gilbert Anderson in The Return of the Soldier

Who did Ian Holm portray in Hamlet?
Ian Holm was Polonius in Hamlet

Who did Ian Holm portray in Chariots of Fire?
Ian Holm was Sam in Chariots of Fire

Who did Ian Holm play in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein?
Ian Holm was Victor's Father in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Who did Ian Holm portray in Juggernaut?
Ian Holm was Nicholas Porter in Juggernaut

Who did Ian Holm portray in Brazil?
Ian Holm was Kurtzman in Brazil

What role did Ian Holm portray in Alien?
Ian Holm played Ash in Alien

Who did Ian Holm play in The Aviator?
Ian Holm was Professor Fitz in The Aviator

Who did Ian Holm portray in Robin and Marian?
Ian Holm was King John in Robin and Marian

Who did Ian Holm portray in Holocaust?
Ian Holm was Heinrich Himmler in Holocaust

Who did Ian Holm portray in A Midsummer Night's Dream?
Ian Holm was Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream

Who did Ian Holm play in Bless the Child?
Ian Holm was Reverend Grissom in Bless the Child

Who did Ian Holm portray in Strangers With Candy?
Ian Holm was Dr. Putney in Strangers With Candy

Who did Ian Holm portray in The Real Middle Earth?
Ian Holm was Narrator in The Real Middle Earth

Who did Ian Holm portray in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King?
Ian Holm was Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

What role did Ian Holm portray in The Homecoming?
Ian Holm played Lenny in The Homecoming

Who did Ian Holm portray in S.O.S. Titanic?
Ian Holm was J. Bruce Ismay in S.O.S. Titanic

What role did Ian Holm portray in Nicholas and Alexandra?
Ian Holm played Yakovlev in Nicholas and Alexandra

Who did Ian Holm play in Jesus of Nazareth?
Ian Holm was Zerah in Jesus of Nazareth

What role did Ian Holm play in All Quiet on the Western Front?
Ian Holm played Himmelstoss in All Quiet on the Western Front


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