At the age of 79, actor Bernard Hill, best known for his parts in Lord of the Rings and the Titanic, passed away.

He portrayed King Théoden in the Lord of the Rings and Captain Edward Smith in the 1997 Oscar-winning picture.

In the 1982 BBC TV drama Boys from the Blackstuff, he played the character Yosser Hughes, who tried—and frequently failed—to deal with being unemployed in Liverpool. This was his breakthrough performance.

 His representative Lou Coulson stated that he passed away early on Sunday morning.

His son Gabriel and fiancée Alison were with him at the time.

 The actors who portrayed Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin in the Lord of the Rings trilogy—Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Dominic Monaghan, and Billy Boyd—paid homage to their co-star at Comic Con in Liverpool.

Astin said, “We adore him,” to start. He possessed courage, humor, grit, irrepressibility, and beauty.”

Boyd narrated how he and Monaghan watched the trilogy, stating, “I don’t think anyone spoke Tolkien’s words as great as Bernard did.” My heart would shatter for him. Only he will be missed.”

Boys from the Blackstuff author Alan Bleasdale described Hill’s passing as a “great loss and also a great surprise”.

“Every scene showcased Bernard’s incredible and captivating performance, which he gave his all to.” His name was Yosser Hughes.

“I was desperate to work with him,” he continued. All of his actions, including his workflow, approach to work, and performance, exceeded expectations beyond measure.Bernard seemed to have an endless life to you. He was quite strong both physically and mentally.”

Hill, a resident of Suffolk and native of Manchester, was scheduled to make a comeback to television screens in Sunday’s second season of The Responder, a BBC drama starring Martin Freeman.

In honoring him, BBC Drama’s Lindsay Salt said: “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.”

We are incredibly grateful to have collaborated with Bernard at the BBC on a number of projects, including Wolf Hall, The Responder, Boys from the Blackstuff, and many more. At this difficult time, our thoughts are with his loved ones.”

Hill received appreciation for his realistic depiction of Yosser Hughes in Boys from the Blackstuff. Hughes was a passionate character who begged Gizza to “give us a job” while looking for employment.

In 1983, the program took home a Bafta for best drama series. In 2000, the British Film Institute listed it as the eighth greatest TV program ever produced.

In the 2015 drama series Wolf Hall, which was based from Hilary Mantel’s novel about the court of Henry VIII, Hill gave another one of her most memorable performances on BBC TV. Hill played the Duke of Norfolk, who was Cardinal Wolsey’s adversary and Anne Boleyn’s uncle.

Hill became a cast member of Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy The Lord of the Rings for the second movie, The Two Towers, in 2002. She later returned to the franchise for the eleven-award winning film The Return of the King in 2003.

Throughout the course of Hill’s two-decade career, he played a number of other roles, including those in the 1976 BBC TV series I, Claudius, Gandhi (1982), Shirley Valentine (1989), The Scorpion King (2002), and the 2008 Tom Cruise movie Valkyrie.

He had to cancel at the last minute from Comic Con Liverpool on Saturday, the convention announced in a post on X. The organizers expressed on the platform that they were “heartbroken” by Hill’s passing and wished his family “lots of strength” as soon as word of his passing spread.

Another Scottish musician who paid tribute to X was Barbara Dickson, who described him as a “really marvellous actor”.

“It was an honor to have crossed paths with him,” she continued. Benny X, rest in peace.”


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