The cast of “The Lord of the Rings” franchise, including Elijah Wood, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, and Sean Astin, bid farewell to their co-star Bernard Hill, who portrayed King Théoden in the trilogy.

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill in full flow as King Théoden in the Lord of the Rings

Hill passed away at the age of 79, leaving behind a legacy of memorable performances and contributions to the world of film and television.

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During a Comic Con event in Liverpool, the cast members paid tribute to Hill, describing him as “funny, gruff, beautiful,” and expressing their sorrow at losing a beloved friend and colleague. Astin, who played Samwise Gamgee, fondly remembered Hill’s intrepid spirit and irascible charm, while Boyd praised his exceptional delivery of Tolkien’s words and ability to ground them in realism.

Hill, who joined “The Lord of the Rings” cast for the second and third films in the trilogy, earned widespread acclaim for his portrayal of King Théoden. Beyond his role in the fantasy epic, he was also known for his performance as Captain Edward Smith in “Titanic” and his breakout role as Yosser Hughes in the BBC TV drama “Boys from the Blackstuff.”

Alan Bleasdale, the writer of “Boys from the Blackstuff,” described Hill’s performance as mesmerizing and hailed him as a remarkable talent. Hill’s portrayal of Yosser Hughes, a character struggling with unemployment in Liverpool, earned him critical acclaim and left an indelible mark on British television history.

Hill’s career spanned decades and encompassed a diverse range of roles, from historical dramas like “I, Claudius” to blockbuster films like “The Scorpion King” and “Valkyrie.” His versatility as an actor and his commitment to his craft endeared him to audiences worldwide.

As news of Hill’s passing spread, tributes poured in from colleagues and fans alike, with many expressing gratitude for his contributions to the entertainment industry and mourning the loss of a beloved talent. Hill’s legacy as a pioneering actor and consummate professional will continue to inspire future generations of performers and storytellers.