Bernard Hill: Titanic and Lord of the Rings actor dies

  • By Paul Gribben and Noor Nanji
  • BBC News

Image source, Getty Images

Actor Bernard Hill, best known for his roles in Titanic and The Lord of the Rings, has died at the age of 79.

He played Captain Edward Smith in the 1997 Oscar-winning film and King Théoden in Lord of the Rings.

His breakout role was in the BBC television series Boys from the Blackstuff, where he played Yosser Hughes, a character who struggled – and often failed – to cope with unemployment in Liverpool.

He died early Sunday morning, his agent Lou Coulson confirmed.

Tributes to Hill have been increasing since the announcement of his death.

Write on, Scottish musician Barbara Dickson said he was “a truly wonderful actor”, adding: “It was a privilege to have crossed paths with him. RIP Benny x.”

Legend, Bernard Hill thriving as King Théoden in Lord of the Rings

Image source, Getty Images

Legend, Bernard Hill played Captain Edward James Smith in Titanic

Hill, originally from Manchester, was due to return to TV screens in the second series of The Responder, a BBC drama series starring Martin Freeman, which begins broadcast on Sunday.

BBC Drama director Lindsay Salt paid tribute to him, saying: “Bernard Hill blazed a trail on screen, and his long career filled with iconic and remarkable roles is testament to his incredible talent.”

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

In Boys from the Blackstuff, Hill praised his realistic portrayal of Yosser Hughes, an intense and memorable character who pleaded “Gizza job” while looking for work.

This show won the Bafta for Best Drama Series in 1983, and in 2000 it was ranked seventh on the British Film Institute’s list of the best television shows ever made.

Legend, Yosser Hughes, played by Bernard Hill, was one of the most memorable characters in the 1982 film Boys From The Blackstuff.

Another of Hill’s memorable BBC TV performances came in the 2015 drama series Wolf Hall, adapted from Hilary Mantel’s book about the court of Henry VIII. Hill portrayed the Duke of Norfolk – an uncle of Anne Boleyn and an enemy of Cardinal Wolsey.

Hill was also highly regarded for his performances in Peter Jackson’s epic Lord of the Rings trilogy.

He joined the cast of the second film, The Two Towers in 2002, and returned to the franchise for The Return of the King in 2003, which won 11 Academy Awards.

Other roles during his decades-long career included the BBC television series I, Claudius in 1976, an appearance in Gandhi in 1982, Shirley Valentine in 1989, The Scorpion King in 2002 and the Tom Cruise film Valkyrie in 2008.

Hill was supposed to be at Liverpool Comic Con on Saturday, but had to cancel at the last minute, the convention said in an article on X. As news of his death broke, organizers said on the platform that they were heartbroken at Hill’s. died and wishes his family “a lot of strength”.

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News Source : www.bbc.com


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