He played the “Titanic” captain: Bernard Hill is dead

He played the “Titanic” captain
Bernard Hill is dead

Bernard Hill starred in Titanic and Lord of the Rings.

© imago images/Future Image

Bernard Hill has died at the age of 79. The British actor made a name for himself with roles in two major films.

Bernard Hill (1944-2024) is dead. The British actor died on Sunday (May 5) at the age of 79, according to his agent according to BBC confirmed. Hill was able to make Oscar history with two roles in his long career.

Roles as captain and king

The actor, who was born in Manchester, England, attended the Manchester Polytechnic School of Drama after college and studied theater there until 1970. In 1973 he got his first TV role, followed a year later by his theater debut in London’s West End. He had his breakthrough on television in 1982 with the series “Boys from the Blackstuff”. In the five-episode drama series, he played Yosser Hughes, who struggles with unemployment in Liverpool. Another BBC production in his career includes “Wolves” (2015, original: “Wolf Hall”), a miniseries in which he played Anne Boleyn’s uncle Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk. On the other hand, according to the BBC, he recently starred in the second season of the police series “The Responder”, which will be broadcast from this Sunday.

From the mid-1980s, Hill could also be seen in international film productions. He is best known for his portrayal of Captain Smith in the “Titanic” film adaptation (1997) by James Cameron, 69. He also played King Théoden in the second and third parts of Peter Jackson’s, 62, Lord of the Rings trilogy (“The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” and “The Lord of the Rings: The return of the King”). The two roles earned him a record: he is the only actor to appear in two films that won eleven Oscars.

Hill was scheduled to appear at Comic Con Liverpool last Saturday, but his visit was canceled at short notice. The convention explained the sad news in a post on X: “We are heartbroken at the news of Bernard Hill’s death. A great loss. We are thinking of his family at this very sad time and wish them much strength.”


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