Sir Ian Holm, best known for his roles in Chariots Of Fire and The Lord Of The Rings, has died aged 88, his agent said.

The actor, who was also an acclaimed theater star, appeared in films such as Alien and The Madness of King George.

A statement by his agent Alex Irwin said: “It is with great sadness that we can confirm that actor Sir Ian Holm CBE died this morning at the age of 88. He died peacefully in hospital, with his family and caregiver. His illness was linked to Parkinson’s.

“An established Royal Shakespeare Company star and Harold Pinter’s favorite actor (he won a Tony Award for Best Actor as Lenny in The Homecoming), Sir Ian has been recognized worldwide for his extraordinarily impressive career and varied, which included highlights such as Chariots of Fire, The Fifth Element, Alien, The Sweet Herfter, Time Bandits, The Emperor’s New Clothes and The Madness of King George.

“His Character of Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings ensured that the magic of his art could be shared by all generations.

“He was a stage and film genius, winning numerous awards and loved by directors, audiences and colleagues. His sparkling spirit always accompanied a malicious twinkle in his eye.

“Charming, kind and fiercely talented, he will be greatly missed.”

His role as Sam Mussabini in Chariots Of Fire earned him a special award at the Cannes Film Festival, a Bafta award and an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor.

He also found new audiences in the 1990s as Pod in the television adaptation of The Borrowers.