Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bob Hoskins 1942-2014

Actor Bob Hoskins has passed away at 71. 

A natural talent who began theatre acting without any training, Bob Hoskins burst into the hearts and minds of the world with his role as private detective Eddie Valiant in Robert Zemeckis’ live-action/animated mashup WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT in 1988. Hoskins talent for playing gruff, funny, and heartwarming while acting against an animated character which didn’t exist on set made the film work, and forever cemented his reputation in Hollywood as a very diverse actor. Hoskins would follow-up his debut a few years later as Captain Hook’s sidekick Mr. Smee in Steven Spielberg’s HOOK in 1991. 

His long list of notable and memorable credits include PINK FLOYD THE WALL (1982), THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY (1980), THE HONORARY CONSUL (1983), SUPER MARIO BROS (1993), NIXON (1995), MICHAEL (1996), SPICEWORLD (1997), ENEMY AT THE GATES (2000), UNLEASHED (2005), MRS HENDERSON PRESENTS (2005), HOLLYWOODLAND (2006),  and MADE IN DAGENHAM (2010).  

He would be reunited with Robert Zemeckis in 2009 as a motion-captured Fezziwig in A CHRISTMAS CAROL. He was slated to be a replacement in THE UNTOUCHABLES (1987) if Robert De Niro decided not to play Al Capone. He won the BAFTA and Golden Globe for Best Actor for his role in MONA LISA (1986), and was also nominated for an Oscar. He reprised his role as Mr. Smee in the Syfy TV mini-series NEVERLAND (2011). His final film credit was SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN (2012). 


On the outside, Bob Hoskins had a gruff and tough exterior. While it is not unheard of for tough-looking, burly actors to show some heart (which he did very well), it was his ability to make people laugh at the drop of a hat (or a rabbit) which made him so endearing. Comedy is all about timing, and maybe even surprise…and being able to laugh at Bob Hoskins was always a pleasure. But he did not hang his hat on that nail for long. His ability to play a despicable villain blasted through in UNLEASHED…and has to be seen to be believed. His diverse talent and great range spoke to everybody, and made him a consistent favorite. To not enjoy Bob Hoskins is like going a day without laughter. 

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