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05th May 2024

Titanic and Lord of the Rings star Bernard Hill dies aged 79

Nina McLaughlin

Heartbreaking news

Bernard Hill has died aged 79, the BBC reports.

Hill first rose to fame with his role of Yosser Hughes in Boys from the Blackstuff.

The role saw Hill rise to prominence, and from there he gained roles in blockbusters, including Gandhi and The Bounty.

However, what Hill is best known for is his roles in two of the most significant pieces of cinema in the last 30 years – Titanic and Lord of the Rings.

He played Théoden, King of Rohan, in Peter Jackson’s iconic trilogy. Fans of the franchise will remember his memorable speech in the third film.

He played Captain Edward Smith in the Oscar-winning Titanic, and is the only actor in history to have appeared in more than one of the three films awarded 11 Academy Awards.

Hill was born in Blackley, Manchester to a Catholic family of miners, and was a lifelong supporter of Manchester United FC.

The announcement of his passing was made on X/Twitter by his long-term friend and fellow actor Barbara Dickinson.

Dickinson shared a black and white photograph of Hill and herself, and wrote: “It’s with great sadness that I note the death of Bernard Hill. We worked together in John Paul George Ringo and Bert, Willy Russell marvellous show 1974-1975. A really marvellous actor. It was a privilege to have crossed paths with him. RIP Benny x”

Other devastated fans of the actor have expressed their sadness at the news of his death on social media.

One Twitter user wrote: “RIP Bernard Hill. His performance as Yosser Hughes on Boys from the Blackstuff was perfection and British television at it’s best.”

Another posted: “Godspeed, Bernard Hill. Folks will be sharing memories of his various roles today, but for me, Théoden King stands alone – a standout performance in a film series full of standout performances.

“May his family be comforted during this difficult time.”