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Bernard Hill, actor of “Titanic” and “Lord of the Rings”, dies.

Bernard Hill, actor of “Titanic” and “Lord of the Rings”, dies.

(CNN) — British actor Bernard Hill, best known for his supporting roles in the “Titanic” and “Lord of the Rings” trilogies, has died, his family announced on Sunday.

His family said in a statement: “It is with great sadness that we announce that Bernard Hill, the famous actor known for his roles in the films “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings,” died this morning at the age of 79 years.” statement.

“He was with his fiancée Alison and his son Gabriel.”

Hill achieved fame in his native country by starring in 1982’s Boys from the Blackstuff, a drama about unemployed men that became a symbol of the Thatcher era.

However, audiences know him best for his small roles, in which he brought his simple dignity to some of the most successful films in cinema history.

In Oscar-winning director James Cameron’s 1997 film “Titanic,” Hill plays the ship’s captain, Edward Smith, a man tormented by his role in the tragedy who eventually resigns himself to his fate.

The last time we saw him he was alone, clinging to the ship’s rudder, before the water broke through the windows.

Bernard Hill in

Bernard Hill in The Return of the King in 2003. (Credit: New Line/Kobal/Shutterstock)

Hale later appeared in two parts of Peter Jackson’s blockbuster “Lord of the Rings” series as Theoden, King of Rohan, who is manipulated by his advisor in “The Two Towers” before becoming a heroic leader in “The Return of the King.” .

Other film roles include “Gandhi,” “Shirley Valentine,” and “The Scorpion King.”

His agent, Lou Coulson, told the PA news agency that he died in the early hours of Sunday morning. CNN has been contacted separately for comment.

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Paying her tribute, Lindsay Salt, BBC Director of Drama, said Hill had “blazed a trail across the screen, and her long career of iconic and iconic roles is testament to her astonishing talent.”