Ian Holm‘s death wasn’t a terrible thing — he lived a rich and radiant existence for 88 years — but news editors and commentators calling him “the man who played Bilbo Baggins” in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film series is a gruesome send-off.

I first took notice 46 years ago when Holm played Nicholas Porter, the cruise-ship executive in Richard Lester‘s Juggernaut (’74), and especially five years later when he played Ash-the-robot in Ridley Scott‘s Alien (’79). His Sam Mussabini role in Hugh Hudson‘s Chariots of Fire (’81) was also noteworthy.

Agree or not, but these are the three Holm performances that immediately came to mind when I heard the news.