HomeTop Headlines"Lord of the Rings" Actor Dead at 79

“Lord of the Rings” Actor Dead at 79

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Renowned British character actor Bernard Hill, best known for his roles in late 1990s and early 2000s films, has died at the age of 79.

His agent, Lou Coulson, confirmed his death which occurred on Sunday morning, May 5. The sad news was shared on social media by friends and former colleagues, including actress Barbara Dickson.

Born on December 17, 1944, Hill began his acting career in the early 1970s with roles in popular British television shows including “Rooms,” “Village Hall,” and “Crown Court.” His portrayal of Yosser Hughes, a troubled father in the TV miniseries “Boys From The Blackstuff” in the 1980s, brought him into the spotlight and earned him one of his two BAFTA nominations.

American audiences might best remember Hill for his roles as Edward Smith, the captain of the Titanic in James Cameron’s 1997 film, and as King Theoden in the second and third “Lord of the Rings” films. His wide-ranging filmography also includes Clint Eastwood’s “True Crime,” “Wimbledon,” and “Paranorman,” among others.

Hill’s final performance will be seen in the forthcoming season of “The Responder,” starring Martin Freeman, set to premiere on Sunday.

“Boys From The Blackstuff” writer Alan Bleasdale and Lindsay Salt, director of BBC Drama, have both expressed their sadness at Hill’s death. They praised his compelling performance as Yosser Hughes and recognized his iconic roles and significant contribution to the industry.

Hill’s notable performance in “Boys from the Blackstuff” earned him a BAFTA in 1983, and the show was ranked seventh on the British Film Institute’s list of the greatest TV shows ever made. His role as the Duke of Norfolk in the 2015 drama series “Wolf Hall” also garnered widespread acclaim.

His co-stars from the “Lord of the Rings” series, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Dominic Monaghan, and Billy Boyd, paid tribute to Hill during Comic Con in Liverpool.

Astin said, “He held a special place in our hearts. He was fearless, humorous, tough, and wonderfully complex. His spirit was a beacon.”

Boyd, alongside Monaghan, recounted their experiences of watching the trilogy, stating, “No one else could breathe life into Tolkien’s words quite like Bernard. He touched my soul deeply. His absence will be profoundly felt.”

Alan Bleasdale described Hill’s death as a “profound and unexpected loss,” further praising his portrayal of Yosser Hughes as “compelling and hypnotic.”

Hill was expected to attend Comic Con Liverpool on Saturday but had to withdraw unexpectedly. Following the announcement of his death, the event organizers expressed their deep sorrow and extended their condolences to his family.

Hill is survived by his fiancee Alison and a son, Gabriel, who were with him at his bedside.

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