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Bernard Hill, Known For Titanic And Lord Of The Rings, Dies At 79: A Tribute To His Iconic Career

Renowned actor Bernard Hill, celebrated for his unforgettable performances in Titanic and Lord of the Rings, has passed away at 79, leaving behind a legacy etched in cinematic history. As tributes pour in, we reflect on his iconic career spanning from gripping portrayals in Boys from the Blackstuff to his majestic presence as King Théoden.

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Bernard Hill in Titanic Photo: Getty Images

Actor Bernard Hill, renowned for his portrayals in iconic films like Titanic and Lord of the Rings, has died at the age of 79.

Hill famously depicted Captain Edward Smith in the acclaimed 1997 film Titanic and brought King Théoden to life in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

His career took off with his role as Yosser Hughes in the BBC TV drama Boys from the Blackstuff, where he depicted the struggles of coping with unemployment in Liverpool.

Confirming his passing, his agent Lou Coulson stated that Hill died early on Sunday morning.

Since the news of his demise emerged, tributes honoring Hill's legacy have been pouring in.

Scottish musician Barbara Dickson expressed her sentiments, describing Hill as "a really marvellous actor" and reflecting on the privilege "to have crossed paths with him. RIP Benny x."

Hill, hailing from Manchester, was set to make a return to television screens in the second series of The Responder, a BBC drama featuring Martin Freeman, scheduled to begin airing on Sunday.

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill Photo: Getty Images

Lindsay Salt, the director of BBC Drama, honored Hill, stating, "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."

Bernard Hill Movies And TV Shows

In Boys from the Blackstuff, Hill received acclaim for his gritty portrayal of Yosser Hughes, a compelling character remembered for his desperate plea of "Gizza job" in his pursuit of employment.

The show was awarded a Bafta for best drama series in 1983 and was ranked seventh on a British Film Institute list of the best TV shows ever made in 2000.

Another notable performance by Hill on BBC TV was in the 2015 drama series Wolf Hall, adapted from Hilary Mantel's book depicting the court of Henry VIII. In this series, Hill portrayed the Duke of Norfolk, an enemy of Cardinal Wolsey and an uncle of Anne Boleyn.

Hill's portrayal of King Théoden in Peter Jackson's epic trilogy The Lord of the Rings earned him much acclaim and love from audiences.

He joined the cast for the second film, 2002's The Two Towers, and reprised his role for the third installment, 2003's The Return Of The King, which garnered 11 Oscars.

Throughout his decades-long career, Hill took on a variety of roles, including appearances in the 1976 BBC TV series I, Claudius, a role in the 1982 film Gandhi, Shirley Valentine in 1989, The Scorpion King in 2002, and the 2008 Tom Cruise film Valkyrie.

Scheduled to appear at Comic Con Liverpool on Saturday, Hill had to cancel at the last minute, as noted by the convention in a post on X. Following the news of his passing, the organizers expressed their heartbreak on the platform and extended their condolences to Hill's family, wishing them strength during this difficult time.