Bob Hoskins (1942-2014)
Photo: Georges DeKeerle/Getty Images
Last night, Bob Hoskins died from pneumonia. Born Robert William Hoskins Jr. in 1942 to a nursery-school teacher and a truck driver in West Suffolk, England, Hoskins went on to a varied, wonderful, 40-plus-year acting career. Starting in 1969, Hoskins didn’t break through until his performances in the 1978 BBC musical drama Pennies From Heaven and the 1980 British gangster movie The Long Good Friday. His career included notable roles in Brazil, Mona Lisa (for which he won a BAFTA and a Golden Globe, and was nominated for an Oscar), Mermaids, Super Mario Bros, Hook, and, of course, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. On his ability to consistently find work, Hoskins once told an interviewer, “Most dictators were short, fat, middle-aged, and hairless. Besides Danny DeVito, there’s only me to play them.”
2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman was Hoskins’s last film before he retired after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Through it all, he truly loved being an actor, once calling it “the best job in the world.” He explained: “Look at the way they treat you when you turn up for work. They give you breakfast and a cup of tea and ask ‘are you all right?’ They tart up your face, you say someone else’s words, then pick up your check and go home. And you get days off. I tell you, it really is the way to live.” He was 71.