Lord Of The Rings Star Bernard Hill Has Died

Bernard Hill, beloved for his roles in both The Lord of the Rings and Titanic, has passed away.

An acclaimed English actor, Hill was revered for his portrayal of Théoden, King of Rohan in the LOTR trilogy, and as Captain Edward Smith in Titanic. His career spanned impressive roles in both film and television, including Yosser Hughes in Boys from the Blackstuff and the Duke of Norfolk in the BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall.

Hill’s management company confirmed the sad news of his passing.

The statement from his management reads (via Sky News): “Bernard was a client of Optimism Entertainment for many years and was a true gentleman and extremely talented artist.

“He was an amazing man and we are saddened to hear of his passing. Our deepest condolences go out to his family. We will miss him greatly.”

Lindsay Salt, BBC Drama director, also shared her thoughts: “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.

“From Boys from the Blackstuff to Wolf Hall, The Responder, and many more, we feel truly honoured to have worked with Bernard at the BBC.

“Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this sad time.”

On X (formerly Twitter), tributes have poured in. Elijah Wood, Hill’s LOTR co-star, wrote: “So long to our friend, our king, Bernard Hill. We will never forget you.

“‘For he was a gentle heart and a great king and kept his oaths; and he rose out of the shadows to a last fair morning’.”

Another fan expressed: “Thank you, Bernard Hill, for a performance so many of us will always treasure: a truly unforgettable and epic portrayal of King Théoden. Hail the victorious dead!”

Another shared: “So sad to hear about the death of Bernard Hill.

“Having watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy at least 10 times – it’s ALWAYS this scene that I love most. His portrayal of King Théoden is just incredible – what a legacy to have.”

In Titanic, Hill’s character, Captain Edward Smith, is one of the only characters based on a real person. This film went on to win a staggering 11 Academy Awards.

The Manchester native also delivered one of the most memorable scenes in the LOTR trilogy – his character’s rallying cry as his troops charge into battle.

“Arise, arise, riders of Théoden!” Hill calls. “Spears shall be shaken, shields shall be splintered! A sword day, a red day, ere the sun rises! Ride now! Ride now! Ride! Ride for ruin and the world’s ending! Death! Death! Death!”

LOTR‘s Return of the King mirrored Titanic’s success by also snagging 11 Oscars.

Despite the recent release of The Lords of The Ring: The Rings of Power on Amazon Prime Video in 2022, Hill had openly criticized it as a ‘money-making venture’ and expressed disinterest in watching it, according to an interview with Metro.

“Good luck to them and all that stuff but it’s not like the real thing,” Hill noted.

When asked if LOTR should have ended after Peter Jackson’s original trilogy, Hill firmly agreed: “Completely, yes.”

Before his passing, Hill was supposed to appear at Comic Con but had to withdraw last minute due to his partner’s severe illness.

The X post shared: “He sends his sincere apologies and thanks you all for your understanding. He sends his love to all of you and will see you all again soon at another Monopoly event.”

According to his agent, Hill died early Sunday morning, as reported by The Independent.

While the cause of death has not been revealed, Hill was set to return to TV screens in the second series of The Responder, a BBC drama starring Martin Freeman, which began airing on Sunday.

Hill leaves behind his fiancée, Alison, and son Gabriel, whom he had with ex-wife Marianna Hill.