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Bernard Hill, ‘Lord Of The Rings’ and ‘Titanic’ actor, dies at 79

May 5th, 2024

Bernard Hill, the actor known for his performances in Lord Of The Rings and Titanic, has died at the age of 79.

The news was confirmed by his agent Lou Coulson to the BBC, who said that he had passed away early on Sunday morning (May 5). No cause of death has been given.

Hill played Captain Edward Smith in James Cameron’s 1997 Oscar-winning epic, and Théoden, King of Rohan, in the second and third instalment of Peter Jackson’s Tolkien trilogy in 2002 and 2003.

He had risen to prominence in Alan Bleasdale’s critically acclaimed 1982 miniseries Boys From The Blackstuff, where he portrayed Yosser Hughes, a man struggling through the unemployment crisis in Liverpool in the ‘80s.

Bernard Hill attends Manchester Comic Con at Bowlers Exhibition Centre on July 30, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shirlaine Forrest/Getty Images)

Born on December 17, 1944 in Manchester, Hill had a long career in television and film, including roles in I, Claudius, Gandhi, Wolf Hall and Valkyrie.

He is also due to appear in the second season of the BBC police drama The Responder, the opening episode of which airs on BBC One tonight, just hours after the announcement of his death.

In the show, he plays Tom, the father of Martin Freeman’s character Chris Carson. Speaking about accepting the role, Hill said (via Mirror): “Well, it all came in a bit of a rush really and I found myself with the script pages for the character they were talking to me about playing, just Tom’s scenes and I thought it could be really interesting to play and wondered what the rest of the script was like and thought it would be quite a good idea to find out, so I said yes! It turns out it was really good! Tony [Schumacher] is a very talented writer, he’s a real Scouse writer and writes with real honesty, which is great.”

Lindsay Salt, director of BBC Drama, paid tribute to the actor: “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,” she added. “Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this sad time.”

See a range of tributes to Hill from social media below:

Hill had been due to appear at ComicCon in Liverpool on Saturday, but the convention confirmed in a statement that he cancelled the appearance at the last minute.

This content was originally sourced and posted at NME »
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