Bernard Hill, actor famous for Lord of the Rings and Titanic, has died aged 79

Actor Bernard Hill, best known for his roles in Titanic and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, has died, his agent confirmed

Legendary British actor Bernard Hill, best known for starring roles in Lord of the Rings and Titanic, has died aged 79.

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Hill played King Theoden, leader of Rohan, in both The Two Towers and The Return of the King in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings big-screen adaptation.

The actor also starred in BBC drama series Boys From The Blackstuff, and the 2015 BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s novel Wolf Hall. Hill played Captain Edward Smith in the Oscar-winning 1997 epic romance Titanic, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

Hill joined the Lord Of The Rings cast for the second film in the trilogy, 2002’s The Two Towers, which won two Academy Awards for best sound editing and best visual effects. He returned to the franchise for 2003’s The Return Of The King, which picked up 11 Oscars, including best picture and best director for Sir Peter.

Hill first made a name for himself as Yosser Hughes in Alan Bleasdale’s Boys From The Blackstuff, which aired in 1982 about five unemployed men.

The role earned him a Bafta TV nomination in 1983, the same year the show picked up the Bafta for best drama series.

In the adaptation of Wolf Hall, about the court of Henry VIII, he played the Duke of Norfolk, uncle to Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard.

He also stars in the second series of BBC drama The Responder starring Martin Freeman, which is due to air on Sunday.

The BBC described him as an “incredible talent” who “blazed a trail across the screen” during his career.

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Lindsay Salt, director of BBC Drama, said: “Bernard Hill blazed a trail across the screen, and his long-lasting career filled with iconic and remarkable roles is a testament to his incredible talent.

“From Boys From The Blackstuff, to Wolf Hall, The Responder, and many more, we feel truly honoured to have worked with Bernard at the BBC. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this sad time.”

His other credits included Clint Eastwood’s film True Crime, 1989 rom-com Shirley Valentine, the 1999 film adaptation of Great Expectations and 2002’s The Scorpion King starring Dwayne Johnson.

Actress and singer Barbara Dickson, who starred with him in a musical based on the Beatles, was among those paying tribute, describing him as a “marvellous actor”.

Alongside a photo of them together, she wrote: “It’s with great sadness that I note the death of Bernard Hill. “We worked together in John, Paul, George, Ringo and Bert, (by) Willy Russell marvellous show 1974-1975.

“A really marvellous actor. It was a privilege to have crossed paths with him. RIP Benny x.”



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