Bob Hoskins, unlikely movie star and uncommon talent, dead at 71

Bob Hoskins

British actor Bob Hoskins, best known for imbuing his ‘hard-man’ roles with uncommon tenderness, has died at the age of 71 following a fatal bout of pneumonia.

A statement issued on behalf of his wife Linda and Hoskins’ four children revealed that he passed away in hospital with his family at his bedside.

Hoskins had retired from acting in 2012 after receiving a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis.

Born in Suffolk, his acting career began on the London stage, earning him eventual roles in British films such as The Long Good Friday (where he played a gangster) and Mona Lisa (for which he picked up a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, and an Oscar nomination).

He became an unlikely Hollywood star thanks to Who Framed Roger Rabbit, which led to his casting as the romantic lead in the Cher comedy Mermaids as well as the lead in the ill-fated (but beloved in some circles) video game adaptation Super Mario Bros.

He collaborated with a number of major directors over the course of his career, including Steven Spielberg (Hook), Oliver Stone (Nixon), Shane Meadows (A Room for Romeo Brass and Twenty Four Seven), and Stephen Frears (Mrs. Henderson Presents).

Hoskins’ last performance was as the dwarf Muir in 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman.

He is survived by his wife, their two children Jack and Rosa, and two children from a previous marriage, Alex and Sarah.

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