Bob Hoskins Snow White 2012

Bob Hoskins has announced his retirement from acting after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s. We take a look at some of his career highlights.

Bob Hoskins, one of Britain’s best loved actors, has announced his retirement after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Hoskins, whose film and television career has spanned over thirty years (and over sixty films), has requested to be left in peace to enjoy his retirement with his family.

A statement which was issued on the actor’s behalf said: ‘He wishes to thank all the great and brilliant people he has worked with over the years, and all of his fans who have supported him during a wonderful career. Bob is now looking forward to his retirement with his family, and would greatly appreciate that his privacy be respected at this time.’

While he can’t really be described as a star by the standards of today, there is hardly a film fan alive who has not at some point come across the work of Hoskins and been enchanted, amused and entertained by him. With such a wide and varied career as Hoskins forged for himself, it would take an age to examine its course in detail; instead, here are some honourable mentions of his most well remembered and well loved roles.

Starting off as a television actor, Hoskins first gained wider notice in Pennies from Heaven (1978), in which he played Arthur Parker, a sheet music salesman with an overactive musical imagination. He shot to fame in 1980 when he played London gangster/businessman Harold Shand in the slick yet gritty feature film The Long Good Friday. In a story of business, bombs and the sleazy criminal underworld, Hoskins starred alongside Helen Mirren and gave what many consider to be the performance of his life. He encapsulated the rough-and-ready East London gangster attitude years before Jason Statham tried his hand, and mesmerised viewers with his famous ‘hot dog’ monologue.

Hoskins had a small role in the band Pink Floyd’s famous extended music video The Wall in 1982. He also secured lead roles in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil (1985), Mona Lisa (1986) and alongside Cher in Mermaids (1990), but it is for his roles in films aimed at the younger generation that many of us know him best. In 1988 he starred as private detective Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, a delightfully cartoonified caper of a film which cleverly mixed 2D animation with live action photography to create a version of 1940’s Hollywood in which cartoon characters physically exist (and get themselves into trouble with the law). Many will also remember him for his performance as Smee in Hook (1991).

More recently, Hoskins has acted in A Room for Romeo Brass, Enemy at the Gates, Felicia’s Journey, Made in Dagenham and Snow White and the Huntsman, which looks to be his last film. Hoskins was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar in 1987 for his role in Mona Lisa, and won Best Actor awards at the BAFTAs, the Golden Globes and the Cannes Film Festival for the same movie. He has also been honoured with several lifetime achievement awards, including one from the Raindance Film Festival in 2004.

The consistent high quality and astonishing variety of his work ensures that his small but pivotal role within both British and World cinema will not be easily forgotten.

 

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