Movies & TV / News

Lord of the Rings Star Bernard Hill Passes Away

May 5, 2024 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Bernard Hill Lord of the Rings Image Credit: New Line/Warner Bros. Pictures

Bernard Hill, the legendary thespian best known for his role in the Lord of the Rings films, has passed away. Deadline reports that Hill passed away on Sunday, as confirmed by the actor’s agent. No cause of death was given. Hill was 79 years old.

While he is best known for playing King Theoden of Rohan in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Return of the King, Hill’s career began in the 1970s. The English-born actor quit his job as a construction worker to study drama at Manchester Polytechnic, graduating in 1970. He began working on television for the BBC with roles in shows like I, Claudius and Hard Labour, scoring his breakout role as Yosser Hughes in the 1982 limited series Boys from the Blackstuff. The role earned him a BAFTA TV Award nomination for Best Actor and propelled him to bigger roles.

Hill continued working on television while also taking roles in films including Gandhi, 1984’s The Bounty and The Chain, and more. His film career hit highs in the mid-1990s through the early ’00s, starring in The Ghost and the Darkness as David Hawthorne alongside Michael Douglas and Titanic as Captain Edward J. Smith before he was cast as Theoden in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films. He also played Philos, the court magician, in Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s first starring role in The Scorpion King.

Hill continued to work regularly to the end of his life, and his final role is on BBC’s The Responder series two which premiered tonight.

On behalf of 411, our condolences to the family, friends and fans of Mr. Hill. He will be missed.