Known for movies

Short Info

SpouseMarianne Hill
FactBefore being cast as King Theoden in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, director Peter Jackson considered Hill for the role of the wizard Gandalf, which went to Sir Ian McKellen.

Bernard Hill is an English actor. He was born in Manchester, Lancashire, on 17 December 1944, the son of Irene (née Cowell) and Bernard Hill, a lorry driver. His younger brother is actor David Hill. Hill attended Xaverian College, Manchester, and then the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He started his acting career in repertory theatre in Manchester before moving to London in 1967.

Hill’s first television appearance was in Z-Cars in 1964. He also appeared as a soldier in the Doctor Who serial The War Games (1969). After appearing in several other television programmes, he made his film debut in the 1971 film Get Carter, starring Michael Caine. He went on to appear in a number of films, including The Omen (1976), A Bridge Too Far (1977), Yentl (1983), The Bounty (1984), The Mission (1986), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), King Ralph (1991), and Titanic (1997).

Hill has appeared in many stage productions, including the original West End production of Equus (1973), for which he received a Tony Award nomination. He has also appeared in the Royal Shakespeare Company productions of Henry IV, Part 1 (1979) and Henry IV, Part 2 (1980).

Hill’s other film credits include The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), where he played the role of King Théoden, and The Da Vinci Code (2006).

Hill has been married to actress Sheila Hancock since 1985. They have two daughters, Hannah and Rosie.

Hill was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2002 and was knighted in the 2012 New Year Honours for services to drama.

General Info

Full NameBernard Hill
Height175.3 cm
ProfessionVoice Actor
EducationManchester Metropolitan University, Xaverian College


SpouseMarianne Hill
ChildrenGabriel Hill


AwardsScreen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Acting Ensemble
NominationsBritish Academy Television Award for Best Actor, International Emmy Award for Best Performance by an Actor
MoviesTitanic, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Scorpion King, ParaNorman, Gothika, Shirley Valentine, The Ghost and the Darkness, Valkyrie, Drowning by Numbers, The Bounty, True Crime, The Boys from County Clare, Franklyn, Gandhi, Madagascar Skin, ...
TV ShowsBoys from the Blackstuff, Wild China, Wolf Hall, Five Days, Unforgotten, From There to Here, Sunshine, The Grid, India's Frontier Railways, Fox, Surviving Disaster, Telltale, Once Upon A Time In The North

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1He is left-handed.
2His role of King Theoden was previously played by Jack May in the BBC Radio version of The Lord of the Rings. He and May appeared together in The Bounty (1984).
3Believed while filming The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) that castmate Brad Dourif was actually English as Dourif never stopped using the accent. When Dourif finally began using his American accent Hill thought it was fake and accused Dourif of the worst fake accent he had ever heard.
4Was considered for the role of Russell in Doctor Who: Attack of the Cybermen, which went to Terry Molloy.
5Is the only actor to star in two billion dollar films that have both won 11 Oscars (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) and Titanic (1997)).
6Is one of only three actors who appear in two of the seven movies that grossed over $1 billion in the box office: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) and Titanic (1997). The other actors are Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom.
7Although his character Yosser Hughes in "Boys from the Blackstuff" (1982) is a Liverpool FC supporter and he appeared in a scene with actual Liverpool players Graeme Souness and Sammy Lee, Hill is a longtime supporter of their biggest rivals Manchester United FC.
8In film, he has been on the final voyage of two famous ships: the Bounty (in the Mel Gibson film The Bounty (1984)) and the Titanic (as Captain Edward J. Smith in Titanic (1997)).
9He has worked with two actors who played Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Sir Christopher Lee, with whom he appeared in the Lord of the Rings films, played the role in the film Jinnah (1998). The film Gandhi (1982), in which Hill appeared, featured Jinnah as a character, played by Alyque Padamsee.
10He has been in three different versions of "A Midsummer Night's Dream". In the animated miniseries "Shakespeare: The Animated Tales", he voiced Nick Bottom. In the 1999 live-action movie, he played Egeus. In the English version of the 2005 animated Spanish film (English title: "Midsummer Dream"), he was the voice of Theseus.
11He has had supporting roles in two of the seven most successful films of all time: Titanic (1997) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). Both had made more than $1 billion worldwide; both won exactly 11 Oscars including Best Picture; and both are over three hours long.
12He appeared in three Best Picture Academy Award winners: Gandhi (1982), Titanic (1997), and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003).
13Before being cast as King Theoden in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, director Peter Jackson considered Hill for the role of the wizard Gandalf, which went to Sir Ian McKellen.
14Has a son with his wife Marianne Hill: Gabriel Hill.
15Is currently a purple belt in karate
16His birthday coincides with the release date of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003).
17In his commentary on The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) Extended Edition DVD, he admits that during the course of shooting he first broke his sternum, then had his ear slashed open by a sword.
18Is an experienced horseback rider.




About Face1991TV SeriesBryce
Screenplay1990TV SeriesOctavian Barbu
Mountains of the Moon1990Dr. David Livingstone
Shirley Valentine1989Joe
The Fremantle Conspiracy1988TV MovieBreslin
Drowning by Numbers1988Madgett
Bellman and True1987Hiller
Milwr Bychan1986Officer
The Theban Plays by Sophocles1986TV SeriesMessenger
The Great White Mountain1986TV MovieJacques Balmat
New World1986TV Movie
John Lennon: A Journey in the Life1985TV MovieJohn Lennon
No Surrender1985Bernard
Restless Natives1985Will's father
Samson and Delilah1985ShortWillie Naknervis
The Children's Rebellion1985TV MovieTom
The Chain1984Nick
Squaring the Circle1984TV MovieLech Walesa
The Bounty1984William Cole
Runners1983The Hotel - Trevor Field
Richard III1983TV MovieFirst Murderer / Sir William Brandon
The Third Part of Henry the Sixth1983TV MovieDuke of York
The Second Part of Henry the Sixth1983TV MovieDuke of York
The First Part of Henry the Sixth1983TV MovieMaster Gunner / Duke of York
Gandhi1982Sergeant Putnam
Boys from the Blackstuff1982TV Mini-SeriesYosser Hughes
Play for Today1973-1981TV SeriesSimon Simpson / Mick / Sullivan / ...
Say No to Strangers1981ShortTeresa's Dad (uncredited)
The Glamour Girls1980TV SeriesBoris
Fox1980TV SeriesVin Fox
The Black Stuff1980TV MovieYosser Hughes
Telford's Change1979TV SeriesJack Burton
The Sailor's Return1978Carter
Pickersgill People1978TV SeriesHarry 'Sharky' Finn
BBC2 Play of the Week1977-1978TV SeriesCarson / Broadbent
Premiere1977TV Mini-SeriesTom
Second City Firsts1977TV SeriesBilly
Rooms1977TV SeriesMr. Morton
Warship1977TV SeriesCPO Straker
I, Claudius1976TV Mini-SeriesGratus
It Could Happen to You1976Syph
Crown Court1976TV SeriesPC Cluff / Jury Foreman
A Dirty Knight's Work1976'Blind' Freddie - beggar
2nd House1974TV SeriesThe Beatles
Village Hall1974TV SeriesPoliceman
Childhood1974TV SeriesJaney's father
Interlude City of a Dead Woman2016Richard
Golden Years2016/IArthur
Unforgotten2015TV SeriesFather Robert Greaves
North v South2015John Claridge
Wolf Hall2015TV Mini-SeriesDuke of Norfolk
The Breaker2014Man
Hope and Wire2014TV Mini-SeriesLen Russell
From There to Here2014TV Mini-SeriesSamuel
Outpost 112012Cranleigh
Falcón2012TV SeriesRamón Salgado
ParaNorman2012The Judge (voice)
Analogue Love2011ShortNarrator (voice)
The Wraith2011ShortThe Narrator (voice)
The Long March to Freedom2011TV Mini-SeriesNarrator
Fable III2010Video GameSir Walter Beck (voice)
The Kid2010Uncle David
Canoe Man2010TV MovieJohn Darwin
Five Days2010TV Mini-SeriesGerard Hopkirk
Valkyrie2008Confident General - Desert
Sunshine2008TV Mini-SeriesGeorge Crosby
Franklyn2008Peter Esser
Fairy Tales2008TV Mini-SeriesGrettongrat
Save Angel Hope2007Oscar Kurz
Exodus2007/IPharoah Mann
The Crumblegiant2007ShortNarrator (voice)
Beatles' Biggest Secrets2007Narrator
El corazón de la tierra2007Mr. Crown
Joy Division2006Dennis
Surviving Disaster2006TV SeriesNarrator
A Very Social Secretary2005TV MovieDavid Blunkett
El sueño de una noche de San Juan2005Theseus (English version, voice)
The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse2005King William III
Heatwave2005TV MovieNarrator (voice)
Raphael: A Mortal God2004TV MovieNarrator (voice)
The Deal2004ShortVictor
Wimbledon2004Edward Colt
The Grid2004TV Mini-SeriesAgent Derek Jennings
Ancient Egyptians2004TV SeriesNarrator
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King2003Theoden
Gothika2003Phil Parsons
The Boys & Girl from County Clare2003John Joe
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers2002Theoden
Timewatch1999-2002TV Series documentaryNarrator
The Scorpion King2002Philos
Going Off Big Time2000Murray
Eisenstein2000Stalin (voice)
A Question of Faith2000Frederick
The Titanic Chronicles1999TV MovieCaptain S. Lord (voice)
The Criminal1999Det. Insp. Walker
The Loss of Sexual Innocence1999Susan's Father
A Midsummer Night's Dream1999Egeus
Great Expectations1999TV MovieAbel Magwitch
True Crime1999Warden Luther Plunkitt
Titanic: Secrets Revealed1998TV Movie documentaryHost
Unnatural Acts1998TV SeriesPolice chief / Charlie
Titanic1997Captain Edward James Smith
The Mill on the Floss1997TV MovieEdward Tulliver
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride1996The Engine Driver
The Ghost and the Darkness1996Dr. David Hawthorne
First Knight1995Knight (uncredited)
Madagascar Skin1995Flint
The Gambling Man1995TV Mini-SeriesFrank Nickle
The Big Game1995TV MovieMr. Harper (uncredited)
Stages1994TV SeriesJoe
Once Upon a Time in the North1994TV SeriesLen Tollit
Screen Two1985-1994TV SeriesLarry / John / Martin Allport / ...
Shepherd on the Rock1993Tam Ferrier
Between the Lines1993TV SeriesChief Constable Harmsworth
Telltale1993TV SeriesDet. Sgt. Gavin Douglas
Olly's Prison1993TV MovieMike
Lipstick on Your Collar1993TV Mini-SeriesUncle Fred
Crime Story1992TV SeriesErwin
Shakespeare: The Animated Tales1992TV Mini-SeriesBottom
Double X: The Name of the Game1992Ignatious 'Iggy' Smith
Shrinks1991TV SeriesFrank Beasley


The 60s: The Beatles Decade2006TV Series documentary narrator - 5 episodes


Unforgotten2015TV Series performer - 1 episode


Unforgotten Takes Us Back to the 70s2015Video documentary shortHimself
India's Frontier Railways2015TV Series documentaryHimself - Narrator
What Is Unforgotten?2015Video documentary shortHimself
How Britain Worked2012TV Series documentaryHimself - Narrator
Reflections on Titanic2012DocumentaryHimself
Titanic: Case Closed2012TV Movie documentaryHimself - Narrator (voice)
Horizon2001-2011TV Series documentaryHimself - Narrator
The King's Speech: Revealed2011TV Movie documentaryNarration
Saxon Gold: Finding the Hoard2010TV Movie documentaryNarrator
Dispatches2009TV Series documentaryNarrator
Folk America2009TV Series documentaryNarrator
Wild China2008TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself - Narrator
Titus: The Gorilla King2008TV Movie documentaryNarrator (voice)
Mania2007TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself - Narrator
Revealed2006TV Series documentaryHimself - Narrator
30 Greatest Political Comedies2006TV Movie documentaryHimself
No Go: The Free Derry Story2006DocumentaryNarrator
Cruel Sea: The Penlee Disaster2006TV Movie documentaryHimself - Narrator (voice)
Secrets of the Deep2006TV Movie documentaryNarrator (voice)
The Last Tommy2005TV Movie documentaryNarrator (voice)
Du kommst nicht vorbei - Fans im Bann des Ringes2005Video shortHimself
The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse: Deleted Scenes2005Video documentary shortKing William III (uncredited)
Cameras in Middle-Earth2004Video documentaryHimself
Home of the Horse Lords2004Video documentary shortHimself
The Passing of an Age2004Video documentary shortHimself
Brief History of Disbelief2004TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself - Readings
On the Set of 'Gothika'2004Video shortHimself
Ringens disipler2004Documentary short
10th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards2004TV SpecialHimself
Double Helix: The DNA Years2004TV Movie documentaryNarrator
Ring*Con 20042004Video documentary
See You in the Future...2004TV Movie documentaryNarrator
Cameras in Middle-Earth2003Video documentaryHimself
Designing Middle-Earth2003Video documentaryHimself
Warriors of the Third Age2003Video documentary shortHimself
Weta Workshop2003Video documentary shortHimself
2003 MTV Movie Awards2003TV SpecialHimself
Ken Dodd in the Dock2002TV Movie documentaryHimself / Narrator
Love Is Not Enough: The Journey to Adoption2000-2001TV Series documentaryNarrator
Scenes by the Sea: Takeshi Kitano2000TV Special documentaryNarrator
The Death Train1998TV Movie documentaryHimself / Narrator (voice)
HBO First Look1997TV Series documentaryHimself
Drug-Taking and the Arts1993DocumentaryThe Presenter
The Essential History of Europe1993TV SeriesHimself - Narrator
Everyman1985TV Series documentary
Billy Connolly: An Audience with Billy Connolly1985TV SpecialHimself - Audience Member (uncredited)

Archive Footage

Le mec qu'on n'écoute jamais dans les films2016Short
Lego the Lord of the Rings: The Video Game2012Video GameKing Theoden
The Final Frontier? A Horizon Guide to the Universe2012TV Movie documentaryHimself - Narrator (uncredited)
Immortal? A Horizon Guide to Ageing2012TV Movie documentaryHimself - Narrator (uncredited)
Edición Especial Coleccionista2011TV SeriesCaptain Edward James Smith
CR: Titanic2011Video GameCaptain Edward James Smith
Alan Davies' Teenage Revolution2010TV Mini-Series documentaryYosser Hughes
The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest2010Video GameTheoden
Tory! Tory! Tory!2006TV Mini-Series documentaryYosser Hughes
Have I Got News for You2005TV SeriesDavid Blunkett
The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age2004Video GameTheoden
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King2003Video GameTheoden
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers2002Video GameTheoden
The Greatest2001TV Series documentaryYosser Hughes
Titanic Explorer1998Video GameCaptain Smith (uncredited)
Match of the Eighties1997TV SeriesYosser Hughes
Auntie's Bloomers1991TV Series documentaryHimself


Won Awards

2004Critics Choice AwardBroadcast Film Critics Association AwardsBest Acting EnsembleThe Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
2004Gold Derby AwardGold Derby AwardsEnsemble CastThe Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
2004ActorScreen Actors Guild AwardsOutstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion PictureThe Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
2003ACCAAwards Circuit Community AwardsBest Cast EnsembleThe Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
2003NBR AwardNational Board of Review, USABest Acting by an EnsembleThe Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
2003OFCS AwardOnline Film Critics Society AwardsBest EnsembleThe Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
2003PFCS AwardPhoenix Film Critics Society AwardsBest Acting EnsembleThe Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
1983Broadcasting Press Guild AwardBroadcasting Press Guild AwardsBest ActorBoys from the Blackstuff (1982)

Nominated Awards

2006BAFTA TV AwardBAFTA AwardsBest ActorA Very Social Secretary (2005)
2006EmmyInternational Emmy AwardsBest Performance by an ActorA Very Social Secretary (2005)
2004PFCS AwardPhoenix Film Critics Society AwardsBest Ensemble ActingThe Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
2003DVDX AwardDVD Exclusive AwardsBest Audio Commentary (New for DVD)The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
2003Gold Derby AwardGold Derby AwardsEnsemble CastThe Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
2003ActorScreen Actors Guild AwardsOutstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion PictureThe Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
2002ACCAAwards Circuit Community AwardsBest Cast EnsembleThe Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
1998ActorScreen Actors Guild AwardsOutstanding Performance by a CastTitanic (1997)
1983BAFTA TV AwardBAFTA AwardsBest ActorBoys from the Blackstuff (1982)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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