Bernard Hill: Lord Of The Rings and Titanic actor dies aged 79

Actor Bernard Hill, who played roles in Lord Of The Rings and Titanic, has died aged 79, his agent has confirmed.

Hill also featured as Yosser Hughes in the iconic drama series Boys from the Blackstuff.

He was given a number of awards for his role as King Theoden in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and played Captain Edward Smith in the 1997 Oscar-winning film Titanic.

Hill was born in Blackley, Manchester, in 1944 and graduated with a diploma in theatre in 1970.

He was married to fellow actor Marianna Hill, with whom he shared a son. His agent Lou Coulson said he died in the early hours of Sunday.

His management company added in a statement: "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 "

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Hill will return to TV on Sunday night starring in the second series of Martin Freeman's BBC drama The Responder.

Lindsay Salt, director of BBC Drama, 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.

"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."

He was due to attend Comic Con in Liverpool on Saturday but the event announced that day he had to withdraw at the last minute because of his partner becoming "very ill".

The post on X added: "He sends his sincere apologies and thanks you all for you understanding. He sends his love to all of you and will see you all again soon at another Monopoly event."

Fans have already started to pay tribute to him on social media.

Scottish musician Barbara Dickson wrote of their time working together: "It's with great sadness that I note the death of Bernard Hill. We worked together in John Paul George Ringo and Bert, Willy Russell marvellous show 1974-1975.

"A really marvellous actor. It was a privilege to have crossed paths with him. RIP Benny x."