Bernard Hill, ‘Titanic’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ actor, passes away

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From portraying the charismatic Captain Edward Smith in the 1997 classic “Titanic” to embodying King Theoden in the Oscar-winning “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Bernard Hill captivated audiences with his remarkable acting prowess. However, his unexpected passing early Sunday morning left his fans heartbroken.

His agent Lou Coulson confirmed the news about his demise to local media.

His career soared with his portrayal of Yosser Hughes in the BBC TV drama “Boys from the Blackstuff”, illuminating the challenges of unemployment in Liverpool.

Hill, from Manchester, was set to make a comeback to television screens in the second series of “The Responder,” a BBC drama starring Martin Freeman, set to premiere on Sunday.

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’s role.

Hill’s performance as King Théoden in Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy “The Lord of the Rings” garnered him considerable acclaim and affection from audiences.

He joined the cast for the second film, “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” in 2002, and reprised his role for the third installment, “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” in 2003, which won 11 Oscars.

Throughout his decades-long career, Hill took on a variety of roles, including appearances in the 1976 BBC TV series “I, Claudius,” a role in the 1982 film “Gandhi,” “Shirley Valentine” in 1989, “The Scorpion King” in 2002, and the 2008 Tom Cruise film “Valkyrie.”

He is survived by his fiancee Alison and his son Gabriel.

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