Ian Holm Biography, Life, Interesting Facts


Ian Holm

Birthday :

September 12, 1931

Also Known For :

Movie Actor

Birth Place :

Ilford, London, United Kingdom

Zodiac Sign :


Ian Holm was a renowned English actor, an illustrious member of the Shakespeare Company, popular for his role in the Lord of Rings film trilogy.

Early Life

Ian Holm was born on September 12, 1931, to Scottish parents, Harvey Cuthbert a psychiatric doctor, and Jean Wilson, a nurse. He was a native of Goodmayes, England. Holm grew up in London drawing great embedment to acting from Les Miserable. He also had an elder brother Eric. Eric died in 1943. By the age of 8, Holm had developed an unquestionable thirst for acting.

Holm went to Chigwell School in Essex. His parents relocated to Worthing after their retirement. While there, Holm joined a local drama society. In 1949, he enrolled into Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts where he pursued his acting course. This was courtesy of Henry Baynton, a Shakespeare actor he met during a dental visit. Holm graduated in 1950. He was bestowed acting roles by Royal Shakespeare Company as one of the most transcendent students in his acting style. Holm explored his 30s in heightening his acting career at Shakespeare Company. His career did not go without challenges. In 1959, Holm got a finger injury from his stage partner Laurence Olivier in a sword fight while staging a film called Coriolanus. To date, he has a scar that reminds him of his acting journey.


Professional Success

Holm was an entrenched member of the Royal Shakespeare Company by late 1960s. He started making an impact on television shows and in the film industry. In 1965, Holm played Richard III in The Wars of the Roses. In 1969 he played the principal role in Moon Light on the High Way, a production of Dennis Potter. Holm gained a reputation with participation in more minor film roles. He was featured in films like Oh! What a Lovely War in 1969, Mary Queen of Scots in 1971, Nicholas and Alexandra in 1971, Young Winston in 1972 and Napoleon and Love in 1974.

In 1967, Holm was awarded for being the Best Featured Actor in the play The Homecoming. This was a play directed by Harold Pinter. His son was featured in the award-winning BBC TV series The Lost Boys as the young George Llewellyn Davies. In 1976, Holm gave away to stage fright. He was unable to leave his dressing room in the film production of The Iceman Cometh. Holm interrupted his theater acting for 14 years, though he still engaged in television and film roles. He struck his major impact in a film when he played a role in the film The Treacherous Android, and Ash in Alien in 1979.

The year 1997 came with great achievement for Holm. He scored high in his career by taking up two outstanding roles in The Fifth Element and The Sweet Hereafter films. Holm then stepped a notch higher in 2001 by starring in From Hell. He also appeared in the blockbuster film of his life, The Lord of the Rings. He played the role of Bilbo Baggins.

Holm shared the Sag Award for Outstanding Performance by Cast in a Motion Picture. He was later nominated twice for an Emmy Award. In 1999 he befitted the PBS broadcast of a National Theater production of King Lear. Holm has also recognized for his voice-overs provided for most television documentaries and commercials in Britain.


Personal Life

Holm had four wives and an extra relationship. He was blessed with two sons and three daughters from his first two wives and his fresh relationship. Holm received the Commander of the British Empire medal in 1989. By 1998 he was already knighted for his involvement with drama. In 2001 Holm received treatment in the United States after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

He resides with his family in London at an age of 88 years. He lives with Sophie De Temple, his fourth wife. Holm divorced his other three wives, Penelope Wilton, Sophie Baker, and Lynn Shawn.



Holm is remembered for his impacting roles in film and stage acting. He earned himself great fame from films that include Ash in Alien, From Hell, The Fifth Element, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film series. He still remains a great motivation for the upcoming talents in the film and acting industry to date. He is coveted by many for his numerous awards and achievement.



Ian Holm remains one of the greatest actors in history even with his marriage controversies. Although he went through a series of divorce, he still managed to stand out as a big name in his career. He overcame his marital challenges to be a sought after actor.

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