Bernard Hill, who had roles in 'Titanic' and 'The Lord of the Rings,' dies

His career spanned nearly 50 years.

Bernard Hill, who had roles in 'Titanic' and 'The Lord of the Rings,' dies
Dominic Lipinski/AP
May 5, 2024, 4:40 PM

Actor Bernard Hill, who had roles in "The Lord of the Rings" movies and "Titanic," died Sunday, his manager William Blaylock confirmed to ABC News. He was 79 years old.

Blaylock called Hill a "wonderful actor" and friend, and said his death was "a loss to everyone."

Hill began his career in the 1970s with roles in films like "It Could Happen To You." His career would span nearly five decades with perhaps his most famous role occurring as Captain Smith in James Cameron's "Titanic," in which his character donned a white beard as he went down with the ship he steered.

More commercial success came years later, as Hill played Théoden, King of Rohan, in "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" and "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King."

Comicon Liverpool, a fan convention where Hill was set to visit this weekend, announced the news on X (formally Twitter) Sunday. “We’re heartbroken to hear the news of Bernard Hill’s passing. A great loss. Thinking of his family at this very sad time, and wishing them a lot of strength,” wrote the convention.

Hill’s role in "Lord of The Rings" is recognizable for scenes including a speech he delivered in “Return of the King”

In the declaration while rallying his troops, Hill delivered the lines “Spears shall be shaken, shields shall be splintered! A sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!”

Beyond his roles in massive movies, Hill, who is from Manchester, is also known for his "gizza job" (give us a job) line he delivered as Yosser Hughes in the British television series "Boys from the Blackstuff" (1982). The line became a popularized slogan for those seeking work at the time.