Renowned Actor Known for ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Titanic,’ Has Died

Renowned actor Bernard Hill, best known for his roles in “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” and “Titanic,” has passed away at the age of 79. His agent, Lou Coulson, confirmed his death on Sunday morning.

Hill’s career in the film industry was marked by memorable roles, including his portrayal of Théoden, King of Rohan, in the second and third installments of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. His performance in “The Return of the King,” which won 11 Oscars, was particularly notable for a stirring battle cry scene that has since become iconic in the franchise.

In the 1997 blockbuster “Titanic,” Hill played Captain Edward Smith, one of the few characters based on a real person. The film, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, also won 11 Academy Awards. Hill’s character is remembered for his silent retreat to the wheelhouse as the doomed ship begins to sink, a scene that ends with a dramatic burst of water through the windows.

Before his success in film, Hill first gained recognition for his role as Yosser Hughes in the 1982 British TV miniseries “Boys From the Blackstuff.” The series, which focused on the lives of five unemployed men, earned Hill a nomination from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in 1983. The show also won the BAFTA for best drama series.

On the day of his death, the second series of the BBC drama “The Responder” was set to air. In this series, Hill played the father of the show’s star, Martin Freeman.

Lindsay Salt, director of BBC Drama, paid tribute to Hill, stating, “Bernard Hill blazed a trail across the screen, and his long-lasting career filled with iconic and remarkable roles is a testament to his incredible talent. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this sad time.”