Actor Bernard Hill, who was best known for his role in Titanic has died aged 79. 

The Lord of the Rings actor who lived in Suffolk died on Sunday, his agent has confirmed. 

The actor played Captain Edward Smith in the Oscar-winning 1997 epic romance Titanic, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

He also portrayed Theoden, King of Rohan, in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy directed by Sir Peter Jackson.

Hill joined the Lord Of The Rings cast for the second film in the trilogy, 2002’s The Two Towers, which won 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 Sir Peter.

Actress and musician Barbara Dickson, who starred with him in a musical based on the Beatles, was among those paying tribute, describing him as a “marvellous actor”.

Alongside a photo of them together, she wrote: “It’s with great sadness that I note the death of Bernard Hill.

“We worked together in John, Paul, George, Ringo and Bert, (by) Willy Russell marvellous show 1974-1975.

East Anglian Daily Times: Bernard Hill in Southwold in 2013Bernard Hill in Southwold in 2013 (Image: Newsquest)

“A really marvellous actor. It was a privilege to have crossed paths with him. RIP Benny."

Hill was a member of the Southwold Sailing Club, a keen climber and experienced abseiler.

In 2013 Bernard Hill was among 50 people who abseiled down the iconic Southwold lighthouse in aid of the RNLI. 

In 2019, Hill received an honorary degree from the University of East Anglia.