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Bernard Hill as Theoden

Theoden Bernard Hill

Date of Birth: 17 December 1944
Place: Manchester, England
Height: 5’ 10”

Education: Manchester Polytechnic
Married with one son Gabriel (born 1995)and a daughter Jay from a previous relationship

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After gaining a diploma in Theatre at Manchester Polytechnic in 1970, Bernard Hill’s made his television debut in the TV movie Hard Labour. He quickly made a name for himself as a character actor in productions such as the miniseries I, Claudius (1976), regular roles in two television programs (Telford’s Change in 1979 and Fox in 1980), in the Oscar®, BAFTA and Globe award-winning feature film Ghandi (1982) and The Bounty (1984) opposite Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins.

In 1983 Hill won a BAFTA Award for Best Actor for his portrayl of Yosser Hughes in the miniseries Boys from the Blackstuff (1982) as well as a Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Actor, although he later revealed that portraying the gradual disintegration of this character nearly “drove him to the edge of insanity”. Yosser came to represent the desperation of Britain's unemployed and his catchphrase “Gizza job” entered the nation's consciousness.

Bernard Hill has played a number of noteworthy roles in films including Joe Bradshaw, the husband, in Shirley Valentine (1989), Captain Smith in Titanic (1997), Egeus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1999) and Philos in The Scorpion King (2002), although his main comment on this film is that the screen version bears little resemblance to the scrip he originally signed up to.

He has appeared in many London West End productions, including leading roles in A View from the Bridge, The Cherry Orchard and Macbeth.
He is a notable horseman, although in an interview on his role as Theoden in Lord of the Rings, he said “I also realized during this process that I was nowhere near as good a horseman as I should have been to do the scene. I couldn't have done it. So, throughout the course of filming, w hen I had time off, I would attend very intense sessions at the riding school. I became a horseman. I could ride before, but I wasn't a horseman. So I turned myself into one.”

It was Hill who came up with the suggestion that Theoden should ride along the ranks of waiting horsemen before the charge at Pellenor Fields, rattling his sword against the rider’s raised spears. In his own words “I came up with an idea, a sensational idea that's going to mark The Return of the King as something that will make people say, "God, that makes Braveheart look like Walt Disney."

Random Facts

  • In his commentary on the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers extended edition, he admits that during the course of shooting he first broke his sternum, then had his ear slashed open by a sword.
  • His birthday coincides with the release date of The Return of the King.
  • Is currently a purple belt in karate
  • Before being cast as King Theoden in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, director Peter Jackson considered Hill for the part of Gandalf the wizard.
  • To date, he has appeared in three films that won the Oscar for Best Picture - Gandhi (1982), Titanic (1997), and Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The (2003).
  • He has had supporting roles in the two most successful films of all time: Titanic (1997) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). Both are the only two to make more than $1 billion dollars worldwide; both won exactly 11 Oscars including Best Picture; and both are over three hours long.Filmography


Save Angel Hope (2005) (post-production)
Joy Division (2006) (completed)
A Very Social Secretary (2005) (TV)
Midsummer Night's Dream (El Sueño de una noche de San Juan) (2005) (voice: English version)
The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse (2005)
Raphael: A Mortal God (2004) (TV)
The Deal (2004/II)
Wimbledon (2004)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
Gothika (2003)
The Boys from County Clare (2003)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
The Scorpion King (2002)
Horizon, What Sank the Kursk (2001)
Going Off Big Time (2000)
Eisenstein (2000)
Blessed Art Thou (2000)
The Titanic Chronicles (1999)
The Criminal (1999)
The Loss of Sexual Innocence (1999)
A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999)
Great Expectations (1999) (TV)
True Crime (1999)
Titanic (1997)
The Mill on the Floss (1997)
The Wind in the Willows (1996/I)
The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)
Madagascar Skin (1995)
"Gambling Man" (1995) (mini) TV Series
Skallagrigg (1994)
"Once Upon a Time in the North" (1994) TV Series
Dirtysomething (1993) (TV)
A Question of Identity (1993) (TV)
Shepherd on the Rock (1993)
Telltale (1993) (TV)
Lipstick on Your Collar (1993) (TV)
Double X: The Name of the Game (1992)
The Law Lord (1991)
Mountains of the Moon (1990)
Shirley Valentine (1989)
The Fremantle Conspiracy (1988) (TV)
Drowning by Numbers (1988)
Bellman and True (1987)
Milwr Bychan (1986)
The Burston Rebellion (1985) (TV)
Restless Natives (1985)
No Surrender (1985)
Antigone (1984) (TV)
The Chain (1984)
Samson and Delilah (1984/II) (TV)
Squaring the Circle (1984) (TV)
The Bounty (1984)
Runners (1983)
The Tragedy of Richard the Third (1983) (TV)
Henry VI, Part Three (1983) (TV)
Henry VI, Part Two (1983) (TV)
Henry VI, Part One (1983) (TV)
Gandhi (1982) (uncredited)
"Boys from the Blackstuff" (1982) (mini) TV Series
"Fox" (1980) TV Series
The Black Stuff (1980) (TV)
"Telford's Change" (1979) TV Series
The Sailor's Return (1978)
"Pickersgill People" (1978) TV Series
She Fell Among Thieves (1978) (TV)
The Spongers (1978) (TV)
Pit Strike (1977) (TV)
Professional Foul (1977) (TV)
Trial by Combat (1976) ....
"I, Claudius" (1976) (mini) TV Series
It Could Happen to You (1975)
Hard Labour (1973) (TV)

All letters should be sent to:

Bernard Hill
c/o ICM
Oxford House
76 Oxford Street
United Kingdom

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