Bob Hoskins

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Bob Hoskins
Bob hoskins filming ruby blue cropped.jpg
Hoskins during the filming of Ruby Blue (2007)
Robert William Hoskins

(1942-10-26)26 October 1942
Died29 April 2014(2014-04-29) (aged 71)
London, England
Years active1968–2012
Jane Livesey
(m. 1967;div. 1978)

Linda Banwell
(m. 1982;his death 2014)

Robert William Hoskins (26 October 1942 – 29 April 2014) was an English actor. [1] His work included lead roles in Pennies from Heaven (1978), The Long Good Friday (1980), Mona Lisa (1986), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Mermaids (1990), and Super Mario Bros. (1993), and supporting performances in Brazil (1985), Hook (1991), Nixon (1995), Enemy at the Gates (2001), Mrs. Henderson Presents (2005), A Christmas Carol (2009), Made in Dagenham (2010), and Snow White and the Huntsman (2012). He also directed two feature films.

<i>Pennies from Heaven</i> (TV series) television series

Pennies from Heaven is a 1978 BBC musical drama serial written by Dennis Potter. The title is taken from the song "Pennies from Heaven" written by Johnny Burke and Arthur Johnston. It was one of several Potter serials to mix the reality of the drama with a dark fantasy content, and the earliest of his works where the characters burst into extended performances of popular songs.

<i>The Long Good Friday</i> 1980 British gangster film directed by John Mackenzie

The Long Good Friday is a British gangster film starring Bob Hoskins and Helen Mirren. It was completed in 1979, but because of release delays, it is generally credited as a 1980 film. The storyline weaves together events and concerns of the late 1970s, including mid-level political and police corruption, IRA fund-raising, displacement of traditional British industry by property development, UK membership of the EEC, and the free-market economy.

<i>Mona Lisa</i> (1986 film) 1986 film by Neil Jordan

Mona Lisa is a 1986 British neo-noir crime drama film about an ex-convict who becomes entangled in the dangerous life of a high-class call girl. The film was written by Neil Jordan and David Leland, and directed by Jordan. It was produced by HandMade Films and stars Bob Hoskins, Cathy Tyson, and Michael Caine.


Hoskins received the best actor award at the Cannes Film Festival, the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama for his role in Mona Lisa. He was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for the same role. In 2009, Hoskins won an International Emmy Award for Best Actor for his appearance on the BBC One drama The Street . In 2012, Hoskins retired from acting due to Parkinson's disease, and he died from pneumonia on 29 April 2014, at age 71.

Cannes Film Festival Annual film festival held in Cannes, France

The Cannes Festival, until 2002 called the International Film Festival and known in English as the Cannes Film Festival, is an annual film festival held in Cannes, France, which previews new films of all genres, including documentaries from all around the world. Founded in 1946, the invitation-only festival is held annually at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès.

BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role British film award for actors

Best Actor in a Leading Role is a British Academy Film Award presented annually by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding leading performance in a film.

The Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama was first awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association as a separate category in 1951. Previously, there was a single award for "Best Actor in a Motion Picture" but the splitting allowed for recognition of it and the Best Actor – Musical or Comedy.

Early life

Hoskins was born in Bury St Edmunds, West Suffolk, on 26 October 1942 to Robert Hoskins, a bookkeeper and lorry driver, and Elsie (née Hopkins) Hoskins, a cook and nursery school teacher. [2] [3] His grandmother was Romani. [4] From two weeks old he was brought up in Finsbury Park, London. [5] He attended Stroud Green Secondary School where he was written off as stupid on account of his dyslexia. [6] He left school at 15 with a single O-Level and worked as a porter, lorry driver, plumber and window cleaner. He started but did not complete a 3-year accountancy course. [7] [8] He spent half a year in Israel on a kibbutz, and two years in Syria tending the camels of a Bedouin tribe. [8]

Bury St Edmunds market town and civil parish in the county of Suffolk, England

Bury St Edmunds, commonly referred to locally as Bury, is a historic market town and civil parish in Suffolk, England. Bury St Edmunds Abbey is near the town centre. Bury is the seat of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich of the Church of England, with the episcopal see at St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

West Suffolk (county) English administrative county (1889-1974)

West Suffolk was an administrative county of England created in 1889 from part of the county of Suffolk. It survived until 1974 when it was rejoined with East Suffolk. Its county town was Bury St Edmunds.

Bookkeeping Recording of financial transactions

Bookkeeping is the recording of financial transactions, and is part of the process of accounting in business. Transactions include purchases, sales, receipts, and payments by an individual person or an organization/corporation. There are several standard methods of bookkeeping, including the single-entry and double-entry bookkeeping systems. While these may be viewed as "real" bookkeeping, any process for recording financial transactions is a bookkeeping process.


Hoskins filming Ruby Blue in 2007 Bob Hoskins-1.jpg
Hoskins filming Ruby Blue in 2007

Hoskins' acting career began in 1968 at the Victoria Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent, in a production of Romeo and Juliet in which he portrayed a servant named Peter. [9] A year later, while waiting in the bar at Unity Theatre, London, for his friend the actor Robert Frost, Hoskins found himself being auditioned for a play after being handed a script and told "you're next." [10] His audition was successful and Frost became his understudy. Frost considered Hoskins "a natural", recalling that "he just got up on stage and was brilliant." [11]

Stoke-on-Trent City and unitary authority in England

Stoke-on-Trent is a city and unitary authority area in Staffordshire, England, with an area of 36 square miles (93 km2). Together with the neighbouring boroughs of Newcastle-under-Lyme and Staffordshire Moorlands, it is part of North Staffordshire. In 2016, the city had a population of 261,302.

<i>Romeo and Juliet</i> tragedy by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare early in his career about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular plays during his lifetime and along with Hamlet, is one of his most frequently performed plays. Today, the title characters are regarded as archetypal young lovers.

Unity Theatre was a theatre club formed in 1936, and initially based in St Judes Hall, Britannia Street, Somers Town, London NW1. In 1937 it moved to a former chapel in Goldington Street, also in Somers Town in the London Borough of Camden. Although the theatre was destroyed by fire in 1975, productions continued sporadically until 1994, when the site was sold for social housing. Unity Mews is today on the site and a bronze plaque commemorates the theatre. It had links to the Left Book Club Theatre Guild and the Communist Party of Great Britain. By the end of the theatre's first decade, it had spawned 250 branches throughout Britain.

His first major television role was in On the Move (1975–1976), an educational drama series directed by Barbara Derkow intended to tackle adult illiteracy. [12] He portrayed the character Alf Hunt, a removal man who had problems reading and writing. According to producer George Auckland, up to 17 million people watched the series. [13] His breakthrough in television came later in the original BBC version of Dennis Potter's innovative 6-part fantasy-drama Pennies from Heaven (1978), in which he portrayed adulterous sheet music salesman Arthur Parker. He went on to play Iago in Jonathan Miller's BBC Television Shakespeare production of Othello (1981). [14] In 1983 Hoskins voiced an advert for Weetabix and during the late 1980s and early 1990s, he appeared in advertising for British Gas and British Telecom (now BT Group). [15] [16] Other television work included Flickers, portraying Wilkins Micawber in David Copperfield (1999), and The Wind in the Willows (2006).

On The Move was a television series made by the BBC and first broadcast in 1975 and 1976 in 50 ten-minute episodes. Produced by David Hargreaves and directed by Barbara Derkow, this engaging situation comedy was in fact an educational programme aimed at adults with literacy problems, and linked to a national campaign at the time. It was credited with removing some of the stigma attached to illiteracy.

Moving company business that provides packing and moving services for relocation

A moving company, removalist or van line is a company that helps people and businesses move their goods from one place to another. It offers all inclusive services for relocations like packing, loading, moving, unloading, unpacking, arranging of items to be shifted. Additional services may include cleaning services for houses, offices or warehousing facilities.

George Auckland is a UK television and digital media executive, who had a long career at the BBC. During his time as a BBC executive he worked on some of the key educational landmarks in British interactive media including the BBC Micro computer and the BBC Networking Club. He also set up the BBC's first web production unit which was responsible for award winning websites such as Teletubbies, Bitesize, and produced many of the BBC's early TV programmes about home computing and the Internet.

British films such as The Long Good Friday (1980) and Mona Lisa (1986) won him the wider approval of critics, the latter film winning him a Cannes Award, Best Actor Golden Globe, BAFTA Awards, and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Other works in film included delivering comic turns in Terry Gilliam's Brazil (1985); portraying Smee in Hook (1991) and in Neverland (2011); starring opposite Cher in Mermaids (1990); portraying Nikita Khrushchev as a political commissar in Enemy at the Gates (2001); and playing Uncle Bart, the violent psychopathic "owner" of Jet Li in Unleashed (2005; aka Danny The Dog). He had a small role as Pink Floyd's manager in The Wall (1979), and in 1997 had a cameo as Ginger Spice’s disguise in the Spice Girls film Spice World . [17] He directed two films that he also starred in: The Raggedy Rawney (1988) and Rainbow (1996), and produced Mrs Henderson Presents alongside Norma Heyman, for which he was nominated Golden Globe Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the film. [18]

Cinema of the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has had a significant film industry for over a century. While film production reached an all-time high in 1936, the "golden age" of British cinema is usually thought to have occurred in the 1940s, during which the directors David Lean, Michael Powell, and Carol Reed produced their most critically acclaimed works. Many British actors have achieved worldwide fame and critical success, such as Maggie Smith, Roger Moore, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Daniel Day-Lewis, Gary Oldman, Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet. Some of the films with the largest ever box office returns have been made in the United Kingdom, including the third and fourth highest-grossing film franchises.

Academy Award for Best Actor Award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The Academy Award for Best Actor is an award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). It is given in honor of an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance in a leading role while working within the film industry. The award is traditionally presented by the previous year's Best Actress winner.

Terry Gilliam American-born British screenwriter, film director, animator, actor and member of the Monty Python comedy troupe

Terrence Vance Gilliam is an American-born British screenwriter, film director, animator, actor, comedian and former member of the Monty Python comedy troupe.

A high point in his career was portraying private investigator Edward "Eddie" Valiant in the live-action/animated family blockbuster, Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). Hoskins was not the first choice for the role; Harrison Ford, Bill Murray, and Eddie Murphy were all considered for the part. [19] [20] Film critics, among them Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, agreed that Hoskins was perfect for the role. [21] As his character interacts and makes physical contact with animated characters in the film, Hoskins was required to take mime training courses in preparation. He suffered hallucinations for months after production on the film had ended. [22] [23] [24] He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and won a British Evening Standard Award for his performance.

Hoskins was slated to be the last-minute replacement in case Robert De Niro refused the role of Al Capone in The Untouchables (1987). When De Niro accepted the part, the director Brian De Palma mailed Hoskins a cheque for £20,000 with a "Thank You" note. Hoskins was moved to call the director and ask if there were any more films he wasn't needed for. [25]

He told The Guardian in 2007 that he regretted starring as Mario in Super Mario Bros. (1993), saying that he was extremely unhappy with the film, greatly angered by his experiences making it, and referring to it as the "worst thing I ever did". He was injured several times on set, spent most of the time with co-star John Leguizamo getting drunk to escape boredom, and had no idea the film was based upon a video game until told so by his son. [8]

In 2007 Hoskins appeared in the music video for Jamie T's single "Sheila". [26] In 2009 he returned to television for Jimmy McGovern's drama serial The Street , playing a publican who opposes a local gangster. For this role he received his only Emmy: Best Actor at the 2010 International Emmys. The 2011 film In Search of La Che features a character, "Wermit", whose every line of dialogue is a quote of Bob Hoskins. [27]

On 8 August 2012 Hoskins announced his retirement from acting having been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2011. [28]

Personal life

In 1967, aged 25, Hoskins spent a short period of time volunteering in kibbutz Zikim in Israel, and also herded camels in Syria. [29] [30] [31] When asked in an interview which living person he most despised, Hoskins named Tony Blair and said that "he's done even more damage than Thatcher". He hated Blair to the point that he decided in 2010, for the first time in his life, not to vote for Labour, by then led by Gordon Brown. [32] [33] He made light of his similarities with film actor Danny DeVito, whom he joked would play him in a film about his life. [34]

With his first wife Jane Livesey, Hoskins had two children named Alex (born 1968) and Sarah (born 1972). With his second wife Linda Banwell, he had two more children named Rosa (born c. 1983) and Jack (born c. 1986). [35] Hoskins divided his time between Hampstead, London [36] and Chiddingly, East Sussex. [37]

Illness and death

In August 2012, Hoskins retired from acting after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2011. [38]

On 29 April 2014, he died of pneumonia at a hospital in London, England at age 71. [1] [39] He is survived by his second wife Linda Banwell and his four children. [40]

Among the actors who paid tribute at his funeral were Stephen Fry, Samuel L. Jackson, and Helen Mirren, who said that "London will miss one of her best and most loving sons". [14] [41]



1972 Up the Front Recruiting sergeant
1973 The National Health Foster
1975 Royal Flash Police Constable
Inserts Big Mac
1979 Zulu Dawn CSM Williams
1980 The Long Good Friday Harold Shand Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actor
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
1982 Pink Floyd The Wall Band manager
1983 The Honorary Consul Colonel PerezNominated – BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
1984 Lassiter Inspector John Becker
The Cotton Club Owney Madden
1985The Woman Who Married Clark GableGeorge
The Dunera Boys Morrie Mendellsohn
Brazil Spoor
1986 Sweet Liberty Stanley Gould
Mona Lisa George BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Cannes Film Festival: Best Actor (tied with Michel Blanc in Ménage )
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
London Film Critics Circle Award for Actor of the Year (tied with William Hurt in Kiss of the Spider Woman )
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Valladolid International Film Festival: Best Actor
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actor
1987 A Prayer for the Dying Father Michael Da Costa
The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne James Madden Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actor
1988 Who Framed Roger Rabbit Eddie Valiant Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Actor
The Raggedy Rawney DarkyAlso director
1990 Heart Condition Jack Moony
Mermaids Lou Landsky
1991 The Favour, the Watch and the Very Big Fish Louis Aubinard
Shattered Gus Klein
Hook Smee
The Inner Circle Lavrentiy Beria
1992 Passed Away Johnny Scanlan
Blue Ice Sam Garcia
1993 Super Mario Bros. Mario Mario
The Big Freeze Sidney
1995 Nixon J. Edgar Hoover Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Balto Boris Voice
1996 Rainbow Frank BaileyAlso director
The Secret Agent Verloc
Michael Vartan Malt
1997 Twenty Four Seven Alan Darcy European Film Award for Best Actor
Spice World Ginger Spice's disguiseCameo
1998 Cousin Bette Cesar Crevel
1999 Parting Shots Gerd Layton
Captain Jack Jack Armistead
Felicia's Journey Hilditch Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
A Room for Romeo Brass Steven Laws
The White River KidBrother Edgar
2000 American Virgin Joey
2001 Enemy at the Gates Nikita Khrushchev
Last Orders Ray "Raysie" Johnson National Board of Review Award for Best Acting by an Ensemble
Nominated – European Film Award for Best Actor (shared with ensemble cast)
2002 Where Eskimos Live Sharkey
Maid in Manhattan Lionel Bloch
2003 The Sleeping Dictionary Henry DVD Exclusive Award for Best Supporting Actor in a DVD Premiere Movie
Den of Lions Darius Paskevic
2004 Vanity Fair Sir Pitt Crawley
Beyond the Sea Charlie Maffia
2005 Unleashed Bart
Son of the Mask Odin Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor [42]
Mrs Henderson Presents Vivian Van Damm National Board of Review Award for Best Acting by an Ensemble
Nominated – British Independent Film Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated – St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Stay Dr. Leon Patterson
2006 Paris, je t'aime Bob LeanderSegment: "Pigalle"
The Wind in the Willows Badger
Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties WinstonVoice
Hollywoodland Eddie Mannix
2007 Sparkle Vince
Outlaw Walter Lewis
Ruby Blue Jack Oxford International Film Festival - Best Actor
Go Go Tales The Baron
2008 Doomsday Bill Nelson
2009 A Christmas Carol Mr. Fezziwig / Old Joe Motion capture; voice
2010 Made in Dagenham AlbertNominated – British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
2011 Will Davey
2012 Outside Bet Percy "Smudge" Smith
2012 Snow White and the Huntsman Muir


1972VillainsCharles Grindley3 episode
Play for Today Taxi driverEpisode: "The Bankrupt"
1973 Crown Court Freddie Dean3 episodes
New Scotland Yard Eddie WhartonEpisode: "Weight of Evidence"
Softly, Softly: Taskforce ParkerEpisode: "Outrage"
Play for Today WoodbineEpisode: "Her Majesty's Pleasure"
1974 Shoulder to Shoulder Jack DunnEpisode: "Outrage"
Thick as Thieves Dobbs8 episodes
Play for Today BlakeEpisode: "Schmoedipus"
1975 On the Move Alf2 years, 100 episodes
1976 Thriller Sammy DraperEpisode: "Cry Terror"
The CrezzDetective Sergeant MarbleEpisode: "A Flash of Inspiration"
1977 Van der Valk Johnny PalmerEpisode: "Dead on Arrival"
Rock Follies of '77 Johnny BrittenEpisode: "The Real Life"
1978 Pennies from Heaven Arthur Parker6 episodes
Nominated – BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor
1979Of Mycenae and MenMr. TaramasalatopoulosTelevision short
1980FlickersArnie Cole6 episodes
1981 Othello IagoTelevision film - BBC
1983 The Beggar's Opera BeggarTelevision film - BBC
1985 Mussolini and I Benito Mussolini 4 episodes
1985 The Dunera Boys Morrie Mendellsohn2 episodes
1994The ChangelingDe FloresTelevision film
World War II: When Lions Roared Winston Churchill Television film - NBC
1995–1999 The Forgotten Toys TeddyVoice
26 episodes
1996 Tales from the Crypt RedmondEpisode: "Fatal Caper"
1999 David Copperfield Wilkins Micawber 2 episodes
2000Noriega: God's Favorite Manuel Noriega Television film
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
Don Quixote Sancho Panza Television film - Hallmark
2001 The Lost World Professor George ChallengerTelevision film - BBC
2003 Frasier Coach FullerEpisode: "Trophy Girlfriend"
The Good Pope: Pope John XXIII Angelo Roncalli/Pope John XXIII Television film
2008 The Englishman's Boy Damon Ira Chance2 episodes
Pinocchio Geppetto Television film
The Last Word Monologuesunnamed hitmanEpisode: "A Bit of Private Business"
2009 The Street Paddy Gargan2 episodes
International Emmy Award for Best Actor
2011 Neverland Smee 2 episodes

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