The talented British character actor Bob Hoskins died Tuesday in a London Hospital at 71. The family said Hoskins died after a long bout with pneumonia, but gave no further details. He had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Hoskins is probably best known in America as the private detective in 1988’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Another cuddly role for the older Hoskins was 1999’s Captain Jack where he played a crusty but lovable sea captain alongside Gemma Jones and Anna Massey. He did a fine job as the theater impresario opposite Judi Dench in Mrs. Henderson Presents in 2005. (Those who have seen this one will remember we saw more of Hoskins than we were prepared for.)
Early in his film career, Hoskins took a lot of gangster roles. He was a convincing South London villain and all-around tough guy. Critics took to calling him “the Cockney Cagney.” Other film highlights include The Long Good Friday, Mona Lisa, and The Cotton Club. He also played on television and in the theatre. He was a credible Iago in the BBC’s 1981 version of Othello.
RIP Bob Hoskins.