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Hoskins during the filming of Ruby Blue in 2007
|Born||Robert William Hoskins
26 October 1942
Bury St Edmunds, West Suffolk, England
|Died||29 April 2014
Cause of death
Robert William "Bob" Hoskins (26 October 1942 – 29 April 2014) was an English actor and director known for playing Cockneys and gangsters. He appeared in films, such as The Long Good Friday (1980), Mona Lisa (1986), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Mermaids (1990), Hook (1991), Super Mario Bros. (1993), Nixon (1995), A Christmas Carol (2009), Neverland (2011), and in his final role in Snow White and the Huntsman (2012).
Hoskins received the prestigious Prix d'interprétation masculine, and won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama for his role in Mona Lisa (he was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor) and an International Emmy Award for best actor for his appearance on BBC One drama The Street in 2009.
Hoskins was born in Bury St Edmunds, West Suffolk on 26 October 1942 to Robert Hoskins, a bookkeeper and lorry driver, and Elsie (Hopkins) Hoskins, a cook and nursery school teacher. His grandmother was a Romani gypsy. From the age of 2 weeks old, he was brought up in Finsbury Park, London. Hoskins left school at the age of 15 with a single O-Level and worked as a porter, lorry driver, and window cleaner. He started on a three-year accountancy course but dropped out.
Hoskins' acting career began in 1968 at the Victoria Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent. He played a servant named Peter in a production of Romeo and Juliet. In 1969, he worked at the Unity Theatre. One evening, he was waiting in the Unity Theatre bar for his friend, the actor Roger Frost, to finish an audition. Whilst drinking at the bar, he was given a script and told, "You're next." He got the part, with Frost ending up his understudy. Frost recalled that "Bob was a natural. He just got up on stage and was brilliant."
His first major television role was in On the Move (1975-6), an educational series intended to tackle adult illiteracy, in which he played Alf Hunt, a removal man who had problems reading and writing. Up to 17 million people watched the Sunday program, according to eventual producer George Auckland. Hoskins' breakthrough television role came in the original BBC version of Dennis Potter's innovative six-part fantasy-drama Pennies from Heaven (1978) as adulterous sheet music salesman Arthur Parker. Later, he played Iago in Jonathan Miller's BBC Television Shakespeare production of Othello.
Hoskins' performances in British films, such as The Long Good Friday (1980) and Mona Lisa (1986) won him the wider approval of the critics and, in the case of the latter, a Cannes Award, Best Actor Golden Globe and BAFTA Awards, and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. He also delivered comic turns in Terry Gilliam's Brazil (1985) and as Mario in Super Mario Bros. (1993). Hoskins was not initially aware that Super Mario Bros. was based on the popular video game of the same name. His son had asked him what film he was working on, and recognizing it, showed Hoskins the video game on the Nintendo video game console. Hoskins told The Guardian in 2007 that he regretted starring in Super Mario Bros. He revealed that despite being praised for his performance in the film, he was extremely unhappy with the film and greatly angered by his experiences making it, referring to it as the "worst thing I ever did". During the late 1980s and early 1990s, he appeared in advertising for the recently privatized companies of British Gas and British Telecom (now BT Group).
Hoskins had a small role as a rock band's manager in the Pink Floyd film The Wall. He was slated to be a last-minute replacement in The Untouchables if star Robert De Niro had not decided to play Al Capone. When De Niro took the part, director Brian De Palma mailed Hoskins a cheque for £20,000 with a "Thank You" note, which prompted Hoskins to call up De Palma and ask him if there were any more movies he did not want him to be in.
Hoskins appeared as Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), for which he received a second Golden Globe nomination. Some of Hoskins' other notable appearances include playing opposite Cher in Mermaids (1990), boatswain Smee to Captain Hook in Hook (1991), and as the same character in Neverland (2011), and Uncle Bart, the psychopathic and violent "owner" of Jet Li in Unleashed aka Danny The Dog. He returned to television in productions for the BBC, including Flickers, David Copperfield as Wilkins Micawber (1999) and The Wind in the Willows (2006). He played Nikita Khrushchev as a political commissar in the film Enemy at the Gates (2001). He received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Mrs Henderson Presents, a film he also produced with Norma Heyman.
Hoskins also directed two films, both of which he starred in; The Raggedy Rawney (1988) and Rainbow (1996). In 2009, he made a return to television in Jimmy McGovern's drama serial The Street, where he played a publican who stands up to a local gangster. For this role he received his only Emmy when he won Best Actor at the 2010 International Emmys. On 8 August 2012, Hoskins announced his retirement from acting after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2011.
Hoskins' father was a communist and brought up Hoskins to be an atheist. In 1967, aged 25, Hoskins spent a short period of time volunteering in kibbutz Zikim in Israel, and also herded camels in Syria. In an interview, when asked what he owed his parents, he said, "Confidence. My mum used to say to me, 'If somebody doesn't like you, fuck 'em, they've got bad taste.'" When asked which living person he most despised, Hoskins named Tony Blair and claimed that "he's done even more damage than Thatcher". He made light of his similarities with film actor Danny DeVito, whom he joked would play him in a film about his life.
With his first wife Jane Livesey, Hoskins had two children, Alex (born 1969) and Sarah (born 1972). With his second wife Linda Banwell, he had two more children, Rosa (born c. 1984) and Jack (born c. 1986). On 29 April 2014, Hoskins died from pneumonia at a hospital in London. He is survived by his wife Linda and his four children.
|Play for Today||Taxi driver||Episode: "The Bankrupt"|
|New Scotland Yard||Eddie Wharton|
|Softly, Softly: Taskforce||Parker|
|Play for Today||Woodbine||Episode: "Her Majesty's Pleasure"|
|1974||Shoulder to Shoulder||Jack Dunn|
|Thick as Thieves||Dobbs|
|Play for Today||Blake||Episode: "Schmoedipus"|
|1975||On the Move||Alf|
|The Crezz||Detective Sergeant Marble|
|1977||Van der Valk||Johnny Palmer|
|Rock Follies of '77||Johnny Britten|
|1978||Pennies from Heaven||Arthur Parker||Nominated – BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor|
|1979||Of Mycenae and Men||Mr. Taramasalatopoulos|
|1983||The Beggar's Opera||Beggar|
|1985||Mussolini and I||Benito Mussolini|
|1985||The Dunera Boys||Morrie Mendellsohn||Australian mini-series|
|1994||The Changeling||De Flores|
|World War II: When Lions Roared||Winston Churchill|
|1995–1999||The Forgotten Toys||Teddy||Voice only|
|1996||Tales from the Crypt|
|1998||Saturday Night Live||Himself|
|1999||David Copperfield||Wilkins Micawber|
|2000||Noriega: God's Favorite||Manuel Noriega||Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film|
|Don Quixote||Sancho Panza|
|2001||The Lost World||Professor George Challenger|
|The Good Pope: Pope John XXIII||Angelo Roncalli / Pope John XXIII|
|2008||The Englishman's Boy||Damon Ira Chance|
|The Last Word Monologues||unnamed hitman||Episode: "A Bit of Private Business"|
|2009||The Street||Paddy Gargan||International Emmy Award for best actor|
- "Bob Hoskins Biography (1942–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- Hattenstone, Simon (2 August 2007). "The Method? Living it out? Cobblers!". The Guardian (London: Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 26 April 2010.
- Moline, Karen (1988). Bob Hoskins: An Unlikely Hero. Michigan: Sidgwick & Jackson. p. 201. ISBN 0-283-99508-4.
- Confirmed on Desert Island Discs in November 1988
- Farndale, Nigel (27 November 2009). "Bob Hoskins interview: 'My own mum wouldn't call me pretty'". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- "Bob Hoskins". 1 May 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
- "Bob Hoskins: Sold as seen". The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). 9 October 1999. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
- Karen Moline, Bob Hoskins: an unlikely hero, p17, (Sidgwick & Jackson), 1988, ISBN 0283995084, 9780283995088
- "On the Move", BFI Film & TV database,
- "On the Move: How Bob Hoskins helped adults learn to read". BBC. 3 May 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- "Bob Hoskins paid not to play Capone". Metro. UK. 19 March 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- "Bob Hoskins retires from acting". Itv.com. 8 August 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
- "Bob Hoskins – Celebrity Atheist List". Celebatheists.com. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- Sharrock, David (24 February 2007). "After nearly a century, Israel's first kibbutz calls time on communism". The Times (UK). Retrieved 20 May 2010.
- Stuart, Jan (7 November 1999). "MOVIES Still Breathing Fire BOB HOSKINS dropped out of high school. Joined a circus. Fled to Israel. Then, he discovered acting.". Newsday. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
- "Bob Hoskins – obituary". The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 1 May 2014.
- Greenstreet, Rosanna (18 June 2011). "Q&A: Bob Hoskins". The Guardian (London: Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- "Linda Hoskins saved him from an earlier death from alcohol". Daily E News. 30 April 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
- "Bob Hoskins to retire after Parkinson's diagnosis". BBC. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
- "Bob Hoskins obituary". The Guardian (London). 30 April 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
- "Bob Hoskins dead: Stephen Fry and BAFTA lead tributes to the late Hook and Mona Lisa actor, who has died of pneumonia aged 71". The Independent (London). 30 April 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
- Blickley, Leight (30 April 2014). "Bob Hoskins Dead: 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Actor Dies At 71". Huffington Post. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
- Osborne, Hannah (30 April 2014). "Bob Hoskins Death: How 'Hook' Actor Died from Pneumonia after Parkinson's Diagnosis". International Business Times. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Hinckley, David (30 April 2014). "Bob Hoskins, ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ actor, dead at 71". New York Daily News. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
- Rozen, Leah (30 April 2014). "An Appreciation: Five Worthy Roles Played by Actor Bob Hoskins, Dead at Age 71". BBC America. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
- "Bob Hoskins dies of pneumonia aged 71". BBC. 30 April 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
- razzies.com, "26th Annual Razzie Award Nominees for Worst Supporting Actor". Retrieved 7 March 2013.
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