Actor Bob Hoskins, lauded for British mobster roles, dies aged 71

Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:54am EDT
 
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By Michael Roddy

LONDON (Reuters) - British actor Bob Hoskins, whose roles ranged from London gangsters to FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover and who starred opposite a cast of cartoon characters in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", has died after a bout of pneumonia, his publicist said on Wednesday.

He was 71.

A statement issued on behalf of his wife Linda and his children said: "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."

Hoskins announced his retirement from acting in 2012, saying at the time that he was suffering from Parkinson's disease, an incurable muscular disorder.

Hoskins started his career in the 1970s on British television shows such as "Thick as Thieves" and "Rock Follies of '77".

Moving into big film roles, his turn as a mobster in 1980s "The Long Good Friday" shot him to stardom and defined his tough guy persona.

He was nominated for a best actor Oscar in 1987 for "Mona Lisa", in which he starred opposite Sir Michael Caine and Robbie Coltrane, and won a Golden Globe award.

"He was one of the nicest and best actors I have ever worked with," Caine said, quoted by the BBC.   Continued...

 
Actor Bob Hoskins poses for the media on the red carpet at the Cinema Palace in Venice August 31, 2006.         REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch