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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 June, 2005, 13:25 GMT 14:25 UK
Rings star Holm to play late Pope
Sir Ian Holm
Sir Ian Holm won a Bafta award for his performance in Chariots of Fire
British actor Sir Ian Holm is to play Pope John Paul II in a television mini-series.

Sir Ian, 73 - who played Bilbo Baggins in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy - will portray the late Pope in the four-hour biopic for US television.

Pope John Paul II died earlier this year aged 84.

While Sir Ian will portray him from the time he was elected to the papacy in 1978 until his death, a younger actor will play his earlier years.

Vatican historians

The biopic will chart John Paul II's life from his time as a student in Poland to his death, taking in the 1981 assassination attempt and his diagnosis with Parkinson's Disease.

Hollywood trade magazine Variety reported that the script for the mini-series - tentatively called John Paul II - has been looked at by historians from the Vatican.

It added that the film-makers had been granted access to St Peter's Square and its surroundings.

Sir Ian's other notable film roles include his Bafta-winning performance in Chariots Of Fire and parts in The Madness Of King George, The Fifth Element and The Aviator.

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16 Apr 05 |  Entertainment


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