British Actor Bob Hoskins Dies at 71

Bob Hoskins Dead: British Actor Dies

Roles included 'The Long Good Friday,' 'Mona Lisa,' 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit'

LONDON — British actor Bob Hoskins, best known for roles where he alternated gruffness and tenderness in “The Long Good Friday,” “Mona Lisa” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” died of pneumonia on Tuesday. He was 71.

His agent said he died in hospital, surrounded by family. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and retired from acting in 2012.

Hoskins’ breakthrough came in Dennis Potter’s TV series “Pennies From Heaven” in 1978, and his movie career took off with 1980 gangster pic “The Long Good Friday,” in which he starred alongside Helen Mirren.

Short and stocky, he joked that Danny DeVito would play him in his life story, but it was the right look for a number of roles as gangsters and regular guys in films that included Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil,” Richard Benjamin’s “Mermaids,” alongside Cher, in 1990, as Smee in Steven Spielberg’s “Hook” in 1991, and 1993’s “Super Mario Bros.,” which he called his worst role ever. Working in the U.S. almost as much as in Britain, he appeared in “The Cotton Club,” “Maid in Manhattan” and “Nixon.”

Perhaps his most memorable performance was as the Cockney cabbie who fell in love with a black callgirl in Neil Jordan’s 1987 “Mona Lisa,” for which he was Oscar-nommed and won best actor awards at Cannes, the BAFTAs and the Golden Globes.

Roger Ebert’s review singled him out: “‘Mona Lisa’ stars Bob Hoskins as George. You may remember him as the ferocious little mob boss in ‘The Long Good Friday,’ where he had it all fixed up to go respectable and then someone started blowing up his pubs. Hoskins is one of the very best new British actors, and this is a great performance.”

His most recent perf was in 2012’s “Snow White and the Huntsman,” which starred Kristen Stewart.

He also directed two films, “The Raggedy Rawney” and “Rainbow.”

Raised in London, he worked as a truck driver and window cleaner before starting out in a London theater production. He first came to wider attention for his work in BBC series “Pennies From Heaven.”

In a statement, his wife, Linda, and children Alex, Sarah, Rosa and Jack said they were “devastated by the loss of our beloved Bob.”

“Bob died peacefully at hospital last night surrounded by family, following a bout of pneumonia,” they said.


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  1. sheila moxham says:

    there are certain people who are blessed with charisma Bob was one of them. He was one of my favourite actors, and I feel a sense of personal loss.

  2. Daniel says:

    ‘Smee. That’s me.’

    Go for the gold at the end of life’s rainbow, Bob Hoskins.

  3. lola says:

    I found both of his daughters here, I was gladly surprised to see both are talented women, their father must have been proud, RIP

  4. stylinred says:

    Will always remember him for Hook, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Super Mario Bros :( RIP Mr. Hoskins

  5. aryedirect says:

    So sorry that he is gone. So happy that he did such stellar work and shed light on the human spirit in his absolutely inimitable style. Even in his darkest roles, there was clearly an intelligence fighting to come through. Bob Hoskins, you were one of a kind and will be both appreciated and missed.

  6. RIP Bob,”Who Framed Roger Rabbit” was one of my favorite childhood movies.

  7. Reblogged this on Coach Zero and commented:
    Did You know that Bob Hoskins became an actor by accident? Do you remember him in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Thanks for entertaining us, Bob. Rest In Peace.

  8. Touree says:

    RIP Bob Hoskins. Great actor. And the only GOOD thing about that awful roger rabbit cartoon kid’s movie.

  9. Nick Turner says:

    Bob Hoskins was a gifted and extremely versatile actor. The two roles for which he is best known, R Rabbit and Long Good Friday could not have been more different or more artfully played. For a three credit course in acting sans dialogue, watch the last few minutes of Long Good Friday where BH is captured by his mortal enemies the IRA. In closeup, he wordlessly conveys a series of powerful emotions from shock to fear to calculation to the realization his plight is the result of his own hubris, complete with a bitter final sardonic smile. Just brilliant. Thanks for all the great work Bob. You will be missed.

  10. WylieCoyote says:

    He will be missed. One of my favorites. I remembered seeing Roger Rabbit in my youth, then pleasantly surprised to learn “Eddie Valiant” was English. Watchec most of his work ever since. Proud to have seen his last in Snow White.

  11. bison says:

    You will be missed. My prayers and condolences to his family.

  12. stang119 says:

    RIP Bob

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