Holm who played Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings films and the android Ash in the 1979 Alien film died in a hospital on Friday, his agent told GUARDIAN.
“It is with great sadness that the actor Sir Ian Holm CBE passed away this morning at the age of 88,” they said.
“He died peacefully in hospital, with his family and carer,” adding that his illness was Parkinson’s related. “Charming, kind and ferociously talented, we will miss him hugely”
Holm was born in 1931 in Essex, where his father was superintendent of the West Ham Corporation psychiatric hospital; he later described his childhood there as “a pretty idyllic existence”.
Falling in love with acting at an early age, he went from Rada in London to the Shakespeare Memorial theatre in Stratford, staying on to become part of the Royal Shakespeare Company on its foundation in 1960.
Holm became a leading figure at the RSC, winning an Evening Standard best actor award for Henry V in 1965, part of the seminal Wars of the Roses cycle put together by Peter Hall and John Barton.
He also earned plaudits for his work with Pinter, playing Lenny in the premiere production of The Homecoming (which won him a Tony award after its transfer to Broadway) and then in the 1973 film version, directed by Hall. Not least of all from Pinter himself, who is reported to have said of Holm: “He puts on my shoe, and it fits!”