Hoskins during the filming of Ruby Blue (2007)
|Born||Robert William Hoskins|
26 October 1942
Bury St Edmunds, West Suffolk, England
|Died||29 April 2014 (aged 71)|
|Cause of death||Pneumonia|
(m. 1967; div. 1978)
(m. 1982; his death 2014)
Robert William Hoskins (26 October 1942 – 29 April 2014) was an English actor. His work included lead roles in Pennies from Heaven (1978), The Long Good Friday (1980), Mona Lisa (1986), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Mermaids (1990), and Super Mario Bros. (1993), and supporting performances in Brazil (1985), Hook (1991), Nixon (1995), Enemy at the Gates (2001), Mrs. Henderson Presents (2005), A Christmas Carol (2009), Made in Dagenham (2010), and Snow White and the Huntsman (2012). He also directed two feature films.
Hoskins received the best actor award at the Cannes Film Festival, the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and the 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 for the same role. In 2009, Hoskins won an International Emmy Award for Best Actor for his appearance on the BBC One drama The Street. In 2012, Hoskins retired from acting due to his battle with Parkinson's disease, and he died from pneumonia on 29 April 2014, at age 71.
Hoskins was born in Bury St Edmunds, West Suffolk, on 26 October 1942 to Robert Hoskins, a bookkeeper and lorry driver, and Elsie (née Hopkins) Hoskins, a cook and nursery school teacher. His grandmother was Romani. From two weeks old, he was brought up in Finsbury Park, London. He attended Stroud Green Secondary School; however, his dyslexia meant he was written off as stupid: he left school at the age of 15 with a single O-Level and worked as a porter, lorry driver, plumber and window cleaner. He started on a 3-year accountancy course but dropped out. He spent half a year in Israel on a kibbutz, and two years in Syria tending the camels of a Bedouin tribe.
In 1968, Hoskins' acting career began at the Victoria Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, in which he portrayed a servant named Peter in a production of Romeo and Juliet. A year later in 1969, while waiting for his friend, actor Robert Frost, within the bar at the Unity Theatre in London, England, Hoskins found himself being auditioned for a part in a play at the theatre, after being handed a script and told "You're next.". His audition proved a success, leading to Frost becoming his understudy. Frost considered Hoskins to be "a natural", recalling that "He just got up on stage and was brilliant."
Hoskins' first major television role was in On the Move (1975-6), an educational drama series directed by Barbara Derkow intended to tackle adult illiteracy, in which he portrayed the character of Alf Hunt, a removal man who had problems reading and writing. According to eventual producer George Auckland, up to 17 million people watched the series. His breakthrough in television came later in the original BBC version of Dennis Potter's innovative 6-part fantasy-drama Pennies from Heaven (1978), in which he portrayed adulterous sheet music salesman Arthur Parker. After the drama's conclusion, he went on to portray Iago in Jonathan Miller's BBC Television Shakespeare production of Othello. In 1983, Hoskins' voice was used in an advert for Weetabix and 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). Other works in television, made by the BBC, included Flickers, portraying Wilkins Micawber in David Copperfield (1999), and The Wind in the Willows (2006).
Hoskins is more recognised for his cinematic performances. British films, such as The Long Good Friday (1980) and Mona Lisa (1986), won him the wider approval of critics, with the latter film also winning him a Cannes Award, Best Actor Golden Globe, BAFTA Awards, and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Some of Hoskins other works in film included: delivering comic turns in Terry Gilliam's Brazil (1985); portraying Smee in Hook (1991) and in Neverland (2011); starring opposite Cher in Mermaids (1990); portraying Nikita Khrushchev as a political commissar in Enemy at the Gates (2001); and playing Uncle Bart, the psychopathic and violent "owner" of Jet Li in Unleashed (aka Danny The Dog). He also received a small role as Pink Floyd's manager in The Wall. Hoskins is noted for directing two films that he also starred in - The Raggedy Rawney (1988) and Rainbow (1996) - and producing Mrs Henderson Presents alongside Norma Heyman, in which he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the film.
One of Hoskins' highest points in his film career was in 1988, in which he portrayed private investigator Eddie Valiant in the Disney, Touchstone, and Amblin Entertainment live-action/animated family blockbuster, Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). Hoskins was not the first choice for the role; Harrison Ford, Bill Murray, and Eddie Murphy were all considered for the part, but film critics agreed that Hoskins was perfect for the role, the most prominent among them being Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert. As Hoskins' character interacts and makes physical contact with animated characters in the film, Hoskins was required to take mime training courses in preparation, though he suffered from hallucinations for months, after production on the film had ended. His performance in the film led to him being nominated for a Golden Globe Award, as well as winning him a British Evening Standard Award.
When there were concerns over whether Robert De Niro would portray the character of Al Capone in The Untouchables, Hoskins was slated to be a last-minute replacement in the event that De Niro refused the role. When this didn't happen, director Brian De Palma mailed Hoskins a cheque for £20,000 with a "Thank You" note, which prompted him to call up De Palma and ask him if there were any more films he did not want him to be in. One of Hoskins' worst experiences in his career was his portrayal of Mario in Super Mario Bros. (1993). In an interview he had with The Guardian in 2007, Hoskins stated that he regretted starring in the film, revealing that 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". He was injured several times on set, spent most of the time with co-star John Leguizamo getting drunk to escape boredom, and had no idea the film was based upon a video game until his son told him.
In 2007, Hoskins appeared in the music video for Jamie T's single "Sheila".  In 2009, he made a return to television in Jimmy McGovern's drama serial The Street, where he played a publican who opposes a local gangster. For this role, he received his only Emmy when he won Best Actor at the 2010 International Emmys. In 2011, In Search of La Che featured a character named Wermit and every line of his dialogue was a quote of Bob Hoskins.
In 1967, aged 25, Hoskins spent a short period of time volunteering in kibbutz Zikim in Israel, and also herded camels in Syria. When asked in an interview which living person he most despised, Hoskins named Tony Blair and said that "he's done even more damage than Thatcher". He despised Blair to the point that he decided in 2010, for the first time in his life, not to vote for Labour, by then led by Gordon Brown. 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 named Alex (born 1968) and Sarah (born 1972). With his second wife Linda Banwell, he had two more children named Rosa (born c. 1983) and Jack (born c. 1986).
Illness and death
After his death, Robert Zemeckis, the director of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, said that Hoskins brought enjoyment to audiences worldwide. Among the actors who paid tribute at his funeral were Stephen Fry, Samuel L. Jackson, and Helen Mirren, who said that "London will miss one of her best and most loving sons".
|1972||Villains||Charles Grindley||3 episode|
|Play for Today||Taxi driver||Episode: "The Bankrupt"|
|1973||Crown Court||Freddie Dean||3 episodes|
|New Scotland Yard||Eddie Wharton||Episode: "Weight of Evidence"|
|Softly, Softly: Taskforce||Parker||Episode: "Outrage"|
|Play for Today||Woodbine||Episode: "Her Majesty's Pleasure"|
|1974||Shoulder to Shoulder||Jack Dunn||Episode: "Outrage"|
|Thick as Thieves||Dobbs||8 episodes|
|Play for Today||Blake||Episode: "Schmoedipus"|
|1975||On the Move||Alf||2 years, 100 episodes|
|1976||Thriller||Sammy Draper||Episode: "Cry Terror"|
|The Crezz||Detective Sergeant Marble||Episode: "A Flash of Inspiration"|
|1977||Van der Valk||Johnny Palmer||Episode: "Dead on Arrival"|
|Rock Follies of '77||Johnny Britten||Episode: "The Real Life"|
|1978||Pennies from Heaven||Arthur Parker||6 episodes|
Nominated – BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor
|1979||Of Mycenae and Men||Mr. Taramasalatopoulos||Television short|
|1980||Flickers||Arnie Cole||6 episodes|
|1983||The Beggar's Opera||Beggar||Television film|
|1985||Mussolini and I||Benito Mussolini||4 episodes|
|1985||The Dunera Boys||Morrie Mendellsohn||2 episodes|
|1994||The Changeling||De Flores||Television film|
|World War II: When Lions Roared||Winston Churchill||Television film|
|1995–1999||The Forgotten Toys||Teddy||Voice|
|1996||Tales from the Crypt||Redmond||Episode: "Fatal Caper"|
|1999||David Copperfield||Wilkins Micawber||2 episodes|
|2000||Noriega: God's Favorite||Manuel Noriega||Television film|
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
|Don Quixote||Sancho Panza||Television film|
|2001||The Lost World||Professor George Challenger||Television film|
|2003||Frasier||Coach Fuller||Episode: "Trophy Girlfriend"|
|The Good Pope: Pope John XXIII||Angelo Roncalli/Pope John XXIII||Television film|
|2008||The Englishman's Boy||Damon Ira Chance||2 episodes|
|The Last Word Monologues||unnamed hitman||Episode: "A Bit of Private Business"|
|2009||The Street||Paddy Gargan||2 episodes|
International Emmy Award for Best Actor
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- Moline 1988, p. 201.
- Confirmed on Desert Island Discs in November 1988
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- Moline 1988, p. 17.
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- Chris Fillm (2002). "Marketing Communications: Contexts, Strategies, and Applications". p. 516. Financial Times Prentice Hall
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- Stewart, James B. (2005). DisneyWar. New York City: Simon & Schuster. p. 86. ISBN 978-0684809939.
- Evans, Bradford (7 April 2011). "The Lost Roles of Eddie Murphy". Splitsider. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
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- Cartoon Hangover (29 December 2015). "107 Facts About Who Framed Roger Rabbit". YouTube. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
- "Hoskins: 'Roger Rabbit drove me mad'". Daily Express. London. 27 October 2009. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
- "Bob Hoskins paid not to play Capone". Metro. London. 19 March 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- "Watch Jamie T's "Sheila" Video « The Lefort Report". www.thelefortreport.com. Retrieved 2018-11-05.
- "Farewell to one of the greats, Bob Hoskins". Moviepilot. Archived from the original on 10 January 2015. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
- "Bob Hoskins retires from acting". ITV News. 8 August 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
- Sharrock, David (24 February 2007). "After nearly a century, Israel's first kibbutz calls time on communism". The Times. London. 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. Archived from the original on 25 July 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
- "Bob Hoskins – Obituary". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
- Walker, Tim (21 April 2010). Eden, Richard, ed. "Bob Hoskins: It's the long goodbye for Gordon Brown". The Daily Telegraph.
- "Q&A: Bob Hoskins". The Guardian. 17 June 2011.
- Greenstreet, Rosanna (18 June 2011). "Q&A: Bob Hoskins". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- "Linda Hoskins saved him from an earlier death from alcohol". Daily Entertainment News. 30 April 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
- "Bob Hoskins to retire after Parkinson's diagnosis". BBC News. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
- 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 News. 30 April 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
- "Bob Hoskins tributes". The Daily Telegraph. 30 April 2014. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
- razzies.com, "26th Annual Razzie Award Nominees for Worst Supporting Actor Archived 23 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine.". Retrieved 7 March 2013.
- Moline, Karen (1988). Bob Hoskins: An Unlikely Hero. Sidgwick & Jackson. p. 213. ISBN 978-0283995088.
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