Bernard Hill, ‘Titanic’ and ‘Lord of The Rings’ Star Dead at 79


Bernard Hill, the actor known for his work in Titanic and The Lord of The Rings trilogy has died. He was 79.

Hill’s agent, Lou Coulson, confirmed to the BBC that he died early Sunday morning. No cause of death, or any additional details, have been revealed.

Hill was set to appear at Comic Con Liverpool with other stars of the Lord of the Rings franchise including, Orlando Bloom, Elijah  Wood, Sean Astin, Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan. However, it was noted that his appearance had been canceled at the last minute. 

Monaghan took to Instagram to remember his former co-star, who played King Théoden.

Bernard Hill known for his roles in Titanic and Lord of The Rings has died at 79.CBS via Getty Images

“The Broken king has passed to the grey havens but he will always be remembered. #ripbernard photo by Viggo @theoneringnet,” the actor wrote next to a photo of Hill.

Though he did not share a tribute on his own social media, Bloom liked Monaghan’s post. 

Hill was also remembered by friend and musician, Barbara Dickson.

“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 #bernardhill,” she wrote on X (formally known as Twitter) over a black and white photo with Hill. 

Hill’s decade’s long acting career began in the ’70s but it was his role in the ’80s that made him a breakout with his role in The Boys from the Blackstuff and a role in Gandhi.

In 1997, Hill landed the role of Captain Smith in James Cameron’s 11-time Oscar-winning film, Titanic. Following the acclaimed role, in 2002, Hill joined Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings franchise during the second installment, The Two Towers — where he played King Théoden. Hill appeared in the follow up, The Return of The King.

Both films earned 11 Oscars each and made Hill one of the only actors to appear in two of the three films with the most Academy Awards of all time. 

Bernard Hill appeared in both Titanic and The Lord of the Rings, two films with the most Academy Awards ever.Shirlaine Forrest/Getty Images

In 2015, Hill starred in Wolf Hall, where he played Duke of Norfolk, Anne Boleyn’s uncle. Hill earned a BAFTA for the role.

Hill’s final role will be in the upcoming season two of BBC’s The Responder, which airs on Sunday. 

Through his storied career Hill has credits in TV series including I, Claudius, Crown Court, and Rooms. Hill’s film credits include The Scorpio King, Valkyrie and ParaNorman.”

Hill is survived by his wife, Marianna Hill, and their son Gabriel. 


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