In 2012 Bob Hoskins, one of Britain’s best loved actors, announced he would be retiring from acting after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Now that the 71 year has sadly died of Pneumonia, we thought we’d take a look at some of his greatest roles – and some of his lesser known ones.
10. Maid in Manhattan
Yes, it’s a sappy Cinderella style rom-com starring J-Lo, but Maid in Manhattan actually has a pretty impressive cast, inclusing Bob Hoskins as wise head butler Lionel Bloch, dishing out life advice to J-Lo’s ambitious hotel maid: ‘What we do does not define who we are. What defines us is how well we rise after falling.’
9. Pink Floyd The Wall
It’s easy to forget that it was Bob Hoskins who popped up in Pink Floyd The Wall as Bob Geldof’s ‘Rock and Roll Manager’ – his performance isn’t easy to forget though, as he does a brilliant impression of a sleazy businessman worming his way through the music business.
Starring alongside Cher, Winona Ryder and a very young Christina Ricci, Hoskins took on the role of aspiring painter Lou Landsky in Mermaids. Cher plays a single mother who has repeatedly uprooted her young family, before starting to settle down after meeting Hoskins’ friendly and funny local salesman.
In Terry Gilliam’s futuristic fantasy Brazil Hoskins played Spoor, a maintenance man for the ‘Ministry of Works’, who delights in the crazy bureaucracy of the system he works for.
In Oliver Stone’s Nixon Hoskins excelled as director of the FBI J. Edgar Hoover, with Anthony Hopkins taking on the role of the controversial president.
5. Enemy at the Gates
He played Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev to great acclaim in Enemy at the Gates, set during the Battle of Stalingrad.
In one of his most fondly remembered roles, Hoskins played Smee in Hook, a brilliant re-imagining of Peter Pan, which also starred Robin Williams. An almost unrecognisable Dustin Hoffman played the part of Hook, forming a memorable double act with Hoskins.
3. Mona Lisa
Hoskins starred opposite Cathy Tyson in Neil Jordan’s Mona Lisa, the story of a man just released from prison who gets a job driving a call girl between clients.
2. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is the film that first springs to mind when remembering the genius of Bob Hoskins. Set in a half real, half animated shady noir world where cartoons are living beings, private detective Eddie Valiant must get over his prejudice to figure out who framed Roger Rabbit.
1. The Long Good Friday
Hoskins starred opposite Helen Mirren in The Long Good Friday, where he played ambitious gangster Harold Shand. Shand is trying to close a lucrative deal with some Americans when suddenly bombs start going off left right and centre. We’ll never forget the famous ‘hot dog’ speech, or that brilliantly unsettling final shot.