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Friday 03 December 2003
King Yosser: a biography of Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill as King Theoden
Bernard Hill as King Theoden. Photo by Pierre Vinet/New Line Productions 2002
Bernard Hill is one of Britain's finest character actors.

Born in Manchester, his acting career began in amateur theatre with Salford Players. He now has a key role in the blockbuster Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.
see also
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - a review
Boys from the Blackstuff was first broadcast in 1980
Lord of the Rings
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Bernard Hill

December 17th, 1944

Place of birth:

Studied: at Manchester Polytechnic. Gained a Diploma in Theatre in 1970.

Lord of the Rings role:
Théoden, King of the Rohan. Makes his first appearance in the Two Towers. Will next be seen in The Return of the King.

Initially old before his time thanks to the evil force of Saruman's henchman Grima Wormtongue but is rejuvenated when the spell is lifted by Gandalf. Crucial to defending Middle Earth against the forces of Sauron, Théoden leads his people against the Uruk-hai in the epic battle of Helm's Deep. Begins gloomy and suspicious, then cheerful and brave.

Best known for:

Yosser Hughes
Searing portrayal of Yosser Hughes, uthe desperate, out-of-work head-butting Scouser in Alan Bleasdale's The Boys from the Blackstuff. (1980). With his bemused brood of kids never let out of his sight, Bernard Hill's powerful depiction of a man crumbling before your eyes brought him a mantlepiece full of awards but, as he later revealed, almost "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.

Film roles:
the unfortunate Captain Smith in Titanic;
Pauline Collins' husband in Shirley Valentine
other film credits include:
The Ghost and the Darkness, Madagascar Skin, Mountains of the Moon, The Bounty, No Surrender, Blessed Art Thou, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Going Off Big Time and The Criminal and Sir Richard Attenborough's Oscar-winning Gandhi. Was most recently seen in The Scorpion King.

TV roles:
made his English television debut in 1973 in Mike Leigh's first film, Hard Labour.
also see in the award-winning television productions of I, Claudius, Henry VI trilogy and Richard III; Antigone; Boys From the Black Stuff; The Mill on the Floss; and Great Expectations.

On stage:
Hill's leading roles include A View from the Bridge, The Cherry Orchard and Macbeth.

Bernard Hill now lives in Suffolk. He is married with one son, Gabriel.

Read his interview on BBC Suffolk
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