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Titanic and The Lord of the Rings star Bernard Hill dies aged 79

A Hollywood actor who lived in Suffolk has died aged 79.

Bernard Hill, best known for his roles in Titanic and The Lord Of The Rings trilogy died in the early hours of today, his agent Lou Coulson confirmed.

Hill also starred in drama series Boys From The Blackstuff, and the 2015 BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s novel Wolf Hall.

Bernard Hill, who lived in Reydon, died today. Picture: PA
Bernard Hill, who lived in Reydon, died today. Picture: PA

The actor, who lived in Reydon, near Southwold, played Captain Edward Smith in the Oscar-winning 1997 epic romance Titanic, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

He also portrayed Theoden, King of Rohan, in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy directed by Sir Peter Jackson.

Hill joined the Lord Of The Rings cast for the second film in the trilogy, 2002’s The Two Towers, which won two Academy Awards for best sound editing and best visual effects.

He returned to the franchise for 2003’s The Return Of The King, which picked up 11 Oscars, including best picture and best director for Sir Peter.

Actress and musician Barbara Dickson, who starred with him in a musical based on the Beatles, was among those paying tribute, describing him as a ‘marvellous actor’.

Alongside a photo of them together, she wrote: “It’s with great sadness that I note the death of Bernard Hill.

“We worked together in John, Paul, George, Ringo and Bert, (by) Willy Russell marvellous show 1974-1975.

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