Bob Hoskins, lauded for British mobster roles, dies aged 71
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[May 01, 2014]
By Michael Roddy
— British actor Bob Hoskins, whose roles ranged from London
gangsters to FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover and who starred opposite a
cast of cartoon characters in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", has died
after a bout of pneumonia, his publicist said on Wednesday.
He was 71.
A statement issued on behalf of his wife Linda and his children
said: "We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Bob. Bob
died peacefully at hospital last night surrounded by family,
following a bout of pneumonia."
Hoskins announced his retirement from acting in 2012, saying at
the time that he was suffering from Parkinson's disease, an
incurable muscular disorder.
Hoskins started his career in the 1970s on British television
shows such as "Thick as Thieves" and "Rock Follies of '77".
Moving into big film roles, his turn as a mobster in 1980s "The
Long Good Friday" shot him to stardom and defined his tough guy
He was nominated for a best actor Oscar in 1987 for "Mona Lisa",
in which he starred opposite Sir Michael Caine and Robbie
Coltrane, and won a Golden Globe award.
"He was one of the nicest and best actors I have ever worked
with," Caine said, quoted by the BBC.
The Suffolk-born actor became a staple face in the British film
industry, often playing Cockney-speaking characters in both
comedy and drama genres with his trademark gravelly voice.
His big Hollywood break came in 1988 when he played Eddie
Valiant in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," a role for which he
received a Golden Globe nomination. He then went on to play
roles in 1990's "Mermaids" and 1991's "Hook."
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He portrayed Hoover in the 1995 movie "Nixon", earning a Screen
Actors Guild nomination.
In his later years he took on parts in smaller films, including a
role in "Made in Dagenham" about women seeking equal pay with male
workers at a car plant near London.
He also played the voice of the character Winston in the 2006 film
"Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties".
Film critic Nick James, who edits the British Film Institute's
"Sight & Sound" magazine, said Hoskins was one of the most
recognizable British actors in British and American films of the
1970s and 1980s.
"He's that kind of character — very, very versatile, a huge range of
emotions," James said on Sky television.
"His career really spans a great period in British work and he's all
(Reporting by Michael Roddy; editing by Angus MacSwan)
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