'Titanic', 'Lord of the Rings' actor Bernard Hill dies at 79

Hill rose to prominence with his portrayal of Yosser Hughes in the acclaimed BBC TV drama 'Boys from the Blackstuff'


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Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Published: Sun 5 May 2024, 8:02 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 May 2024, 8:42 PM

Bernard Hill, the esteemed British actor whose compelling performances graced some of the most iconic films of recent decades, including 'Titanic' and 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy, has died at the age of 79.

Actor and singer Barbara Dickson confirmed the news on X by sharing a black and white picture of herself with the late actor 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 #bernardhill".

Born in Manchester, England, Hill rose to prominence with his portrayal of Yosser Hughes in the acclaimed BBC TV drama 'Boys from the Blackstuff'.

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His depiction of Hughes, a proud yet desperate man grappling with unemployment in 'Liverpool' during the early 1980s, earned him widespread recognition for his exceptional acting skills.

However, it was Hill's roles in two monumental blockbusters that solidified his status as a household name.

In James Cameron's 'Titanic' (1997), he portrayed Captain Edward Smith, the stoic yet tragic commander of the ill-fated RMS Titanic. His performance added depth to the historical figure, capturing both the nobility and the tragic oversight of the captain.

Similarly, in Peter Jackson's 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy, Hill portrayed King Theoden of Rohan. His portrayal of the manipulated monarch's transformation into a courageous leader resonated with audiences, particularly in memorable battle scenes like the Battle of Helm's Deep.

Throughout his career, Hill displayed versatility across various genres and platforms, showcasing his dedication to the craft of acting.


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