Bernard Hill

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Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill cropped.jpg
Hill in 2004
Born(1944-12-17)17 December 1944
Blackley, Manchester, England
Died5 May 2024(2024-05-05) (aged 79)
Reydon, Suffolk, England
Education Xaverian College
Alma mater Manchester Polytechnic School of Drama
OccupationActor
Years active1970–2024
Children2

Bernard Hill (17 December 1944 – 5 May 2024) was an English actor. He was known for his versatile roles in both television and film, and his career spanned over fifty years.

Contents

Hill first gained prominence as the troubled hard man Yosser Hughes in Alan Bleasdale's Play for Today drama The Black Stuff (1980) and its sequel serial Boys from the Blackstuff (1982), the latter earning him a nomination for the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor. He received an additional nomination for his role as David Blunkett in the drama A Very Social Secretary (2005), for which he was also nominated for an International Emmy Award for Best Performance by an Actor. He also appeared on television in I, Claudius (1976), the BBC Television Shakespeare productions of Henry VI, Part 1 , 2 , and 3 , and Richard III (all 1983), Great Expectations (1999), and Wolf Hall (2015).

Hill gained international recognition for his film roles as Captain Edward Smith in Titanic (1997) and Théoden, King of Rohan, in the second and third films of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2002–2003). He is the only actor to appear in both Titanic and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) which are two of only three films to receive 11 Academy Awards, making him the only actor to appear in more than one film which holds that record. His other film roles include Gandhi (1982), The Bounty (1984), Shirley Valentine (1989), The Ghost and the Darkness (1996), True Crime (1999), Valkyrie (2008), and ParaNorman (2012).

Early life and education

Bernard Hill was born in Blackley, Manchester, on 17 December 1944. [1] He was brought up in a Catholic family of miners. [2]

After attending Xaverian College in Rusholme, Hill initially started training to be a teacher. However, a classmate, Mike Leigh, who would later become a renowned writer and director, persuaded him to pursue acting. [3] Hill enrolled at the Manchester Polytechnic School of Drama at the same time as Richard Griffiths. [4] In 1970, Hill graduated with a Diploma in Theatre. [5]

Career

Hill first came to prominence in 1980 as Yosser Hughes, a working-class Liverpudlian man ultimately driven to the edge by an uncaring welfare system, in Alan Bleasdale's BBC Play for Today programme, The Black Stuff , and its series sequel, Boys from the Blackstuff . [5] His character's much-repeated phrase Gizza job ("Give us a job") [5] became popular with protesters against Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government, because of the high unemployment of the time. [6]

Hill then appeared as Sergeant Putnam in Gandhi (1982), directed by Richard Attenborough. Next for him was Roger Donaldson's The Bounty (1984), a fourth dramatisation of the mutiny on HMS Bounty. [7] He had previously taken smaller parts in a number of British television dramas, appearing in I, Claudius , in 1976, as the character Gratus. [7]

In 1985 he played the lead role in a TV dramatisation of John Lennon's life, A Journey in the Life. In addition to TV roles, Hill appeared on stage in The Cherry Orchard , [7] and the title roles in Macbeth and A View from the Bridge . [7]

Hill appeared in Shirley Valentine (1989), [7] as Joe Bradshaw the husband of Liverpool housewife (Pauline Collins), a former anti-establishment rebel who engages in an extramarital affair. Hill added more prominent films to his resume, including Mountains of the Moon (1990), [7] Skallagrigg (1994) and Madagascar Skin (1995). [7]

In the mid-1990s, Hill began appearing in films more regularly. His first major role came in The Ghost and the Darkness (1996), [8] starring Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas. Hill then portrayed Captain Edward J. Smith in Titanic (1997), by James Cameron. [9] He then played Luther Plunkitt, the Warden of San Quentin Prison, in the Clint Eastwood film True Crime (1999). [10]

Hill played Philos in The Scorpion King (2002), starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Michael Clarke Duncan and Kelly Hu. [7]

Hill in 2007 Bernard Hill2 (cropped).jpg
Hill in 2007

Hill played King Théoden of Rohan in the second and third installments of Peter Jackson's epic trilogy, The Lord of the Rings , which were released in 2002 and 2003 respectively. [11]

Hill played a minor role in the 2008 film Valkyrie , as the commanding general of the 10th Panzer Division of the German Afrika Korps, and was a voice actor for the character Sir Walter Beck in the video game Fable III (2010). [12]

Hill was the voice of The Judge in the American stop motion animated comedy horror film ParaNorman in 2012. [13] He played Samuel Cotton, who ran a sweet factory with his son in the 2014 three-part BBC drama series about Manchester From There to Here . [14]

Hill appeared as Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, in the 2015 six-part BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel's novels, Wolf Hall. [15] Later in 2015, he starred as John Claridge in the British gangster movie North v South . [16]

Personal life and death

Hill had a daughter from a relationship with Sue Allen, and a son from a relationship with Annabel Turner. At the time of his death, he was engaged to a woman named Alison. [11]

Hill was a longtime supporter of Manchester United. [17] In 2019, he received an honorary degree from the University of East Anglia. [18]

Hill, who was living in Reydon, Suffolk, [19] died on 5 May 2024, aged 79. [20] Tributes were paid to him by his Lord of the Rings trilogy co-stars, Boys from the Blackstuff writer Alan Bleasdale and musician Barbara Dickson. [20]

Filmography

Films

YearFilmRoleNotesRef.
1975It Could Happen to YouSyphFilm also known as Intimate Teenage Secrets [21]
1976 Trial by Combat Blind FreddieFilm also known as Dirty Knights Work [21]
1978 The Sailor's Return Carter [21]
The Spongers Sullivan [22]
1982 Gandhi Sergeant Putnam [10]
1983Squaring the CircleLech Walesa Documentary [23]
Runners Trevor Field [21]
1984 The Bounty Cole [21]
1985 Restless Natives Will's father [21]
The Chain Nick [23]
Samson and DelilahWillie Naknervis [21]
1986Milwr BychanOfficerFilm also known as Boy Soldier [21]
New WorldJohn Billington [24]
No Surrender Bernard [25]
1987 Bellman and True Hiller [23]
1988 Drowning by Numbers Henry Madgett [23]
1989 Shirley Valentine Joe Bradshaw [10]
1990 Mountains of the Moon Dr. David Livingstone [21]
1991The Law LordMartin Allport [26]
1992The Name of the GameIgnatius "Iggy" SmithFilm also known as Run Rabbit Run and Double X [21]
1993Shepherd on the RockTam Ferrier [21]
1994 Skallagrigg John [27]
Drug Taking and the ArtsPresenter and narratorDocumentary [28]
1995 Madagascar Skin Flint [21]
1996 The Ghost and the Darkness David Hawthorne [10]
The Wind in the Willows Engine driverFilm also known as Mr. Toad's Wild Ride [21]
1997 Titanic Captain Edward J. Smith Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
One of two films in which Hill stars that have won 11 Oscars.
[29]
The Mill on the Floss Edwards Tulliver [21]
1999 The Criminal Det. Insp. Walker [21]
True Crime Lunther Plunkitt [10]
A Midsummer Night's Dream Egeus Film also known as Sogno di una notte di mezza estate [21]
The Loss of Sexual Innocence Susan's father [21]
2000Blessed Art ThouFrederick [30]
Eisenstein Stalin Voice only; Film also known as The Furnace [31]
Going Off Big TimeMurray [21]
2002 The Scorpion King Philos [23]
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers King Théoden Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Nominated – DVD Exclusive Awards for Best Audio Commentary
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
[29]
2003 The Boys from County Clare John Joe [21]
Gothika Phil Parsons [21]
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King King Théoden Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
National Board of Review Award for Best Cast
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated – Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
The second film in which Hill starred that won 11 Oscars.
[29]
2004 Wimbledon Edward Colt [21]
The DealVictor Short film [21]
2005 The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse King William III [21]
2006 Joy Division Dennis [21]
Save Angel HopeOscar Kurz [21]
2007 Exodus Pharoah MannBroadcast on Channel 4 [21]
2008 Valkyrie Wolfgang Fischer [29]
Franklyn Peter Esser [21]
2011The WraithThe NarratorShort film [21]
2012 ParaNorman The JudgeVoice only [32]
2015 North v South John Claridge [21]
2016 Golden Years Arthur Goode [21]
Interlude CityRichard [21]
2018Second ChancePeter
2023Forever YoungOscar SmithLast on-screen role before death in 2024 [33]

Television

YearProgrammeRoleEpisodesBroadcasting NetworkNotesRef.
1973 Hard Labour Edward ThornleyN/A BBC [23]
1976 I, Claudius Gratus 2BBC [23]
1977Our Flesh and BloodBernard Blencoe1BBC [21]
1978Pickersgill PeopleHarry 'Sharky' Finn1BBC [21]
1979 Telford's Change Jack Burton1BBC [21]
1979 The Black Stuff Yosser Hughes 1BBC [10]
1980 Fox Vin Fox11 ITV [21]
1982 Boys from the Blackstuff Yosser Hughes5BBC Broadcasting Press Guild Awards for Best Actor
Nominated – BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor
[29]
1983 Henry VI, Part 1 Duke of York 1BBCPart of the BBC Television Shakespeare series [23]
1983 Henry VI, Part 2 Duke of York1BBCPart of the BBC Television Shakespeare series [23]
1983 Henry VI, Part 3 Duke of York1BBCPart of the BBC Television Shakespeare series [23]
1983 Richard III First Murderer / Sir William Brandon1BBCPart of the BBC Television Shakespeare series [23]
1984 Antigone Messenger1BBC
1985The Burston Rebellion Tom Higdon 1BBC
1985 John Lennon: A Journey in the Life John Lennon 1BBC [21]
1993 Olly's Prison Mike1BBC [21]
1993 Telltale Det. Sgt. Gavin Douglas3ITV [21]
1993 Lipstick on Your Collar Uncle FredChannel 4 [23]
1994Once Upon a Time in the NorthLen TollitN/ABBC [21]
1995 The Gambling Man Frank NickleallTyne Tees TV [21]
1999 Great Expectations Abel Magwitch 2BBC [21]
1999The Titanic ChroniclesCaptain Stanley Lord (voice)N/A
2001 Horizon Narrator9BBC [21]
2002 Timewatch Narrator1BBC
2004 Atheism: A Rough History of Disbelief Himself1BBC
2005A Very Social Secretary David Blunkett 1Channel 4Nominated – BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor
Nominated – International Emmy Award for Best Performance by an Actor
[23]
2006 Ocean Odyssey Narrator2Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program
2007 Egomania Narrator1Channel 4
2007Bombay RailwayNarrator2BBC Series
2008 Sunshine Granddad George Crosby3BBC [21]
2008 Wild China Narrator6BBCA BBC/CTV/Travel Channel co-production in association with Canal+
2009 Folk America Narrator3BBC
2009Ice PatrolNarrator4National Geographic
2010Old Trafford 100 YearsNarrator and Presenter1MUTV
2010Five DaysGerard Hopkirk5BBC [21]
2010Indian Hill RailwaysNarrator3BBC [34]
2010Canoe Man John Darwin 1BBC [21]
2012 Falcón Ramón Salgado2 Sky Episode "The Blind Man of Seville" [21]
2014 From There to Here Samuel Cotton3 BBC [21]
2014Hope And WireLen Russell3 TV3 New Zealand mini-series [21]
2015 Wolf Hall Duke of Norfolk 6 BBC [10]
2015India's Frontier RailwaysNarrator3BBC [35]
2015 Unforgotten Father Robert Greaves6 ITV [10]
2024 The Responder Tom CarsonTBA BBC Posthumous release [29]

Theatre

YearPlayRoleTheatreRef.
1974 John, Paul, George, Ringo ... and Bert John Lennon Everyman Theatre, Liverpool [23]
1978 Twelfth Night Toby Belch Young Vic, London
1983Short ListHoward Hampstead Theatre, London
1984 The Plough and the Stars Fluther Good Royal Exchange, Manchester
1986 Macbeth Macbeth Haymarket Theatre, Leicester [23]
1989 The Cherry Orchard Lopakhin Aldwych Theatre, London [23]
1990GaspingSir Chiffley Lockheart Theatre Royal, Haymarket, London [23]
1995 A View from the Bridge Eddie Carbone Strand Theatre, London

Video games

YearVideo gameRoleRef.
2010 Fable III Sir Walter Beck [36]

References and notes

  1. "Bernard Hill, actor who shot to fame as Yosser Hughes in Boys From the Blackstuff – obituary" . The Telegraph. 5 May 2024. Archived from the original on 5 May 2024. Retrieved 6 May 2024.
  2. "The OxStu talks Titanic, Daniel Day-Lewis and more with film star Bernard Hill". The Oxford Student. 7 June 2012. Archived from the original on 15 October 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  3. "Tribute to Bernard Hill, Manchester School of Theatre alumnus". Manchester Metropolitan University. 7 May 2024. Retrieved 12 June 2024.
  4. "Obituary: Lord of the Rings, Titanic and Boys from the Blackstuff actor Bernard Hill" . The Yorkshire Post . 17 May 2024. Archived from the original on 29 May 2024. Retrieved 12 June 2024.
  5. 1 2 3 "Manchester Films – Bernard Hill – a biography". BBC. Archived from the original on 26 April 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  6. "Out of work – and this time it won't just be Yosser who will feel the pain". This is London Magazine. 17 December 2008. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Bernard Hill credits". TV Guide. Archived from the original on 5 June 2023. Retrieved 5 June 2023.
  8. Klady, Leonard (7 October 1996). "The Ghost and the Darkness". Variety . Archived from the original on 15 May 2021. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  9. "Bernard Hill visits Titanic's street of death". BBC. 13 April 2012. Archived from the original on 16 April 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Chilton, Louis. "Bernard Hill's career in 10 roles, from Titanic to Lord of the Rings". The Independent. Archived from the original on 5 May 2024. Retrieved 5 May 2024.
  11. 1 2 Gilbey, Ryan (6 May 2024). "Bernard Hill obituary". The Guardian . ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 2 June 2024. This article was amended on 7 May 2024. Bernard Hill did not marry, and his son, Gabriel, came from a relationship with Annabel Turner.
  12. "Behind The Voice Actors – Bernard Hill". Behind The Voice Actors. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  13. "ParaNorman (2012)". behindthevoiceactors.com. 17 August 2012. Archived from the original on 4 June 2023. Retrieved 4 June 2023.
  14. "Stellar cast assemble for Peter Bowker's new BBC One drama, From There To Here". BBC Media Centre. Archived from the original on 14 November 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  15. "Wolf Hall – Who are the royal subjects? The Duke of Norfolk (Bernard Hill)". BBC. Archived from the original on 17 January 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  16. McCahill, Mike (15 October 2015). "North v South review – Romeo and Juliet caught up in gang war". The Guardian . Archived from the original on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  17. Grimsditch, Lee (22 December 2022). "The Blackley-born actor with a famous catchphrase who made Hollywood history". Manchester Evening News . Archived from the original on 22 December 2022. Retrieved 22 December 2022.
  18. Whymark, Bethany (11 June 2019). "A Titanic actor, climate change trailblazer and banking boss: Meet UEA's newest honorary graduates". Eastern Daily Press. Archived from the original on 11 June 2019. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  19. "Titanic and Lord of the Rings star Bernard Hill dies aged 79". SuffolkNews. 5 May 2024. Retrieved 12 June 2024.
  20. 1 2 Gribben, Paul; Nanji, Noor (5 May 2024). "Bernard Hill: Titanic and Lord of the Rings actor dies". BBC News . Archived from the original on 5 May 2024. Retrieved 7 May 2024.
  21. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 "Bernard Hill CV". Archived from the original on 5 May 2024. Retrieved 5 May 2024.
  22. Lacey, Stephan (2013). Tony Garnett. The Television Series (in Polish). Manchester University Press. ISBN   978-1-84779-584-7.
  23. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Brown, Mark. "Bernard Hill, Boys from the Blackstuff and Lord of the Rings actor, dies aged 79". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 5 May 2024. Retrieved 5 May 2024.
  24. "New World coming". Third Way (Vol. 9, No. 12 ed.). Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd. December 1986. p. 6. Archived from the original on 5 May 2024. Retrieved 5 May 2024.
  25. Traub, Alex (5 May 2024). "Bernard Hill, Actor in 'Titanic' and 'Lord of the Rings,' Dies at 79". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 7 May 2024. Retrieved 7 May 2024.
  26. "BBC Programme Index". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. 22 March 1992. Archived from the original on 11 November 2023. Retrieved 6 May 2024.
  27. "Skallagrigg | Rotten Tomatoes". www.rottentomatoes.com. Archived from the original on 22 January 2023. Retrieved 6 May 2024.
  28. "Drug-Taking and the Arts (1993)". Archived from the original on 6 May 2024. Retrieved 6 May 2024 via www.filmaffinity.com.
  29. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Bernard Hill: Titanic and Lord of the Rings actor dies". BBC . 5 May 2024. Archived from the original on 5 May 2024. Retrieved 5 May 2024.
  30. "Blessed Art Thou | Rotten Tomatoes". www.rottentomatoes.com. Archived from the original on 15 January 2024. Retrieved 6 May 2024.
  31. Willis, John; Monush, Barry (2004). Screen World 2003. Hal Leonard. p. 307. ISBN   978-1-55783-528-4. Archived from the original on 6 May 2024. Retrieved 6 May 2024.
  32. "The Judge Voice – ParaNorman". Archived from the original on 7 June 2023. Retrieved 5 May 2024.
  33. "Forever Young – BBFC". BBFC. Archived from the original on 5 May 2024. Retrieved 5 May 2024.
  34. Unit, Commercial Development. "Indian Hill Railway". ABC Shop. Archived from the original on 4 March 2017. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  35. "BBC Four – India's Frontier Railways". BBC. 2022. Archived from the original on 2 February 2022. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  36. "Fable III – Sir Walter". Archived from the original on 1 April 2022. Retrieved 5 May 2024.

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