By Matthew McKibben | April 30, 2014
British character actor Bob Hoskins has passed away at the age of 71. Hoskins announced in 2012 that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and was retiring from acting. His family released a statement via his agent Clair Dobbs, saying “We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Bob.”
Like many people my age, I first became aware of Bob Hoskins via his work as Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? It’s a sign of how great of an actor he was that it wasn’t until I saw him in other work that I discovered he wasn’t actually a Brooklyn born Yank with a heavy New York accent, but was instead a British born chap with a heavy cockney accent. The more work you saw with Bob Hoskins, the more you realized that he was capable of stealing scenes and entire movies with his intensity and screen presence. Real standouts for me were Mona Lisa and The Long Good Friday. It’s also a sign of how great an actor he was that in a movie that featured Roger Rabbit, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, and nearly every beloved animated character of the past 60 years, it was the two human leads, Bob Hoskins and Christopher Lloyd, that people remember most. He showed a range in that movie that is pretty breathtaking and I’d go so far as to say it’s on a short list of underrated acting performances from that decade.