Ian Holm

I was saddened to hear the news that the character actor Ian Holm Cuthbert CBE (born 1931) had died from a Parkinson's disease related illness on 19th June 2020 aged 88.

Holm has played more roles either as a children's author or as a familiar fantasy character than any other actor I can think of. The first performance that really brought Holm attention was as James Matthew Barrie in the three part BBC 2 dramatisation of Andrew Birkin's The Lost Boys which centred on Barrie's friendship with the Llewlyn Davis family, shown in October 1978. Holm was perfectly cast, he bears a strong physical resemblance, short in stature, his Scottish accent and mannerisms were remarkable. He won a Royal Television award and was nominated for best actor Bafta in 1979.

In Dennis Potter's Dreamchild (1986) Holm gave a sensitive and subtle portrayal of Lewis Carroll in brief, episodic flash-back scenes focusing upon the summer days he spent with Alice Liddell. In effect Holm reprised this role as the gentle and mildly eccentric White Knight (as this character is thought to be a representation of Lewis Carroll himself), opposite Kate Beckinsale as Alice, in Channel 4,s Alice Through the Looking Glass (1998), and as the"Aged, aged man" as a black and white silent Buster Keaton.

Holm played Pod Clock, opposite his wife Penelopie Wilton as Homily, in the BBC teatime serialisation of Mary Norton's The Borrower's (shown in 1992) and the follow up series (1993). Holm played Frodo Baggin's for a BBC radio adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings in 1981. He played Bilbo Baggin's in the blockbuster films of The Lord of the Rings (2001 - 2003) and reprised the role of the elderly Bilbo for the blockbuster films of The Hobbit (2012-2014).

Stephen Martin.

You can see  the whole of Dreamchild on Youtube by clicking on the Dreamchild poster image.

You can see the White Knight epsiode from Alice in Wonderland by clicking on the image showing Ian as the White Knight.