The Lord of the Rings cast have paid tribute to their late co-star Bernard Hill, after he passed away aged 79.


The veteran actor, who starred as King Théoden in the Oscar-winning fantasy franchise directed by Sir Peter Jackson, died in the early hours of Sunday (5th May), his agent told the PA news agency.

Actors Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan, who played the four central hobbits in the films, honoured their "funny, gruff, beautiful" friend on stage at a Comic Con event in Liverpool.

Hill had been due to appear at the event but pulled out on Friday evening.

Paying tribute, the event organisers said: "We’re heartbroken to hear the news of Bernard Hill's passing. A great loss.

"Thinking of his family at this very sad time, and wishing them a lot of strength."

Astin, who played Samwise Gamgee, began by saying: "We love him. He was intrepid, he was funny, he was gruff, he was irascible, he was beautiful."

Boyd, who played Pippin, added: "We were watching the movies and I said to Dom, I don't think anyone spoke Tolkien's words as great as Bernard did.

"He would break my heart. He will be sorely missed."

Wood also posted a message on X, writing: "So long to our friend, our king, Bernard Hill. We will never forget you.

"'For he was a gentle heart and a great king and kept his oaths; and he rose out of the shadows to a last fair morning.'"

Monaghan also wrote a message on Instagram, saying Hill "has passed to the grey havens but he will always be remembered".

Hill joined the cast of the second film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, 2002's The Two Towers, which bagged 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 Jackson.


Hill was also known for his role in Titanic, in which he played Captain Edward Smith, and also appeared in Wolf Hall and Boys from the Blackstuff.