It saddens me to report that legendary character actor Bob Hoskins passed away yesterday at the age of 71 after falling ill with pneumonia. Hoskins was also struggling with Parkinson’s disease after being diagnosed with it in 2012 and retiring from acting. Hoskins has been one of my favourite character actors since I was a kid, and I will miss that awesome voice of his.
Before he became an actor, Hoskins held down a number of unusual jobs, as a porter, truck driver, window cleaner, and circus fire eater. He started his career as an actor on television during the 1970’s, with early roles on TV shows such as Crown Court and Thick as Thieves. During this time, he also made the transition to films, and in 1979 and 1980 he appeared in two films that brought him into the limelight: Zulu Dawn, which cast him alongside the likes of Burt Lancaster and Peter O’Toole (he appears at the 9 minute mark of the clip above), and The Long Good Friday, a cult hit crime drama with Hoskins in the lead.
Despite having a knack for gangster movies, Hoskins managed to avoid being typecast, and appeared in a huge selection of diverse roles, including parts in the films Brazil, Hook, Super Mario Bros., Enemy at the Gates, Doomsday, A Christmas Carol, and Snow White and the Huntsman, among many, many others. But his best known role is undoubtedly as Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Rest in peace, Mr. Hoskins.