One of the most unpleasant roles in journalism, even in the entertainment world, is reporting sad news like this. But it’s important nonetheless — especially in troubled times like these, when so many of us turn to media entertainment to comfort themselves. All too often, we forget there are legions of hardworking human beings behind the movies, shows, books and music we turn to in times of stress and uncertainty… but when it comes to the people who keep our beloved genre alive, we’re doing our best here at Terror Time to make sure no one forgets the ones who make the magic.

One of those supreme talents, who leaves behind a legacy of more than half a century of brilliant performances, is prestigious British actor Sir Ian Holm, who passed away Friday, June 19 at the age of 88.

Holm as Vito Cornelius in The Fifth Element [Image: Gaumont Buena Vista]

Holm first came into prominence as a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and his stage career includes major roles in plays by Harold Pinter and Dennis Potter. But he became instantly recognizable to moviegoers worldwide in 1979, thanks to his unforgettable performance as the treacherous android Ash in Ridley Scott’s masterpiece Alien.

Holm’s career quickly skyrocketed as the accolades grew — including an Oscar nomination for Chariots of Fire in 1981 — but genre fans have embraced him as a familiar persona in fantastic cinema, thanks to his roles in Time Bandits, Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Dreamchild, Brazil, The Fifth Element, From Hell, Naked Lunch and many more… and of course, his star rose even higher for his portrayal of Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. (Coincidentally, he played Bilbo’s nephew Frodo Baggins in a 1981 BBC Radio adaptation of Tolkien’s timeless classic.)

Holm as Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring [Image: New Line Cinema]

Please join us in celebrating Sir Ian’s immense contribution to genre cinema by watching some of his most memorable performances, and reveling in his genius.