British actor Bob Hoskins, known to many for his portrayal of Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, has passed away at the age of 71 after developing a case of pneumonia.
News of the actor’s passing was revealed earlier today, through a statement from his publicist:
“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Bob. Bob died peacefully at hospital last night surrounded by family, following a bout of pneumonia.
We ask that you respect our privacy during this time and thank you for your messages of love and support."
Hoskins was a regular face on the screen, both big and small. The 1980 film The Long Good Friday established his tough-guy persona and proved he had what it took to be a movie star. His career rocketed upward from there, with roles in Brazil and Mona Lisa (the latter earning him an Oscar nomination) capturing the attention of wider audiences.
This paved the way for his biggest role, playing detective Eddie Valiant alongside a cast of cartoon characters in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. That film made Hoskins instantly recognizable to an entirely new generation of young fans.
The veteran actor didn’t always hit it out of the park – he did appear in 1993’s Super Mario Bros., a film widely regarded as one of the worst video game adaptations ever. However, even when the movies weren’t great, Hoskins always was. Sometimes, the gravelly voiced actor could center a film just by being in the cast – even if he wasn’t the lead.
We saw this in 2005’s Unleashed – a film that finds the actor playing a gangster who keeps Jet Li as his own personal attack dog (literally – he keeps Li collared until it’s time to sic him on people). The film’s premise is absurd, but Hoskins keeps it from spiraling completely out of control – and his tough-guy character is a welcome reminder of why we loved him in the first place.
Hoskins retired from acting in 2012, citing his struggle with Parkinson’s Disease as the main reason. Hoskins is survived by his wife and children.
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