The world lost yet another incredible actor yesterday when Bob Hoskins passed away in the hospital on April 29. Today, April 20, his agent announced that he died of pneumonia at 71-years-old. He retired from acting in Autumn, 2011 after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, but leaves behind a large body of work. He leaves behind his wife, four children, and endless fans who remember and appreciate his talent as he entertained the masses through the film industry.
Hoskins is most popularly known for his roles as Mario in “Super Mario Bros.” (1993), Smee in “Hook” (1991), and Eddie Valiant in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” (1988). During his 43-year career as an actor, Hoskins gained over 100 acting credits and numerous awards for his work. He ranged from drama to crime to comedy to any combination of genres.
While millions of people remember Bob Hoskins for his popular film roles, there are surely many bits of Bob Hoskins trivia the average fan doesn’t know. The attached list contains ten things (plus a bonus!) that you probably didn’t know about Bob Hoskins as he spent 71 years with us, entertaining for over half his life.
Bob Hoskins died a critically acclaimed actor but, unlike many other actors, he’s never taken an acting lesson in his life.
His acting career began when he was 26-years-old and he was waiting in the Unity Theatre bar for his friend, Roger Frost, to finish an audition. While drinking at the bar, a man gave him the script saying, “You’re next.” He went for it and got the part, with Frost landing the part as his understudy. Fortunately, Frost took it in stride saying,
Bob was a natural. He just got up on stage and was brilliant.
Hoskins reflected on the experience saying,
I was three parts pissed. We were going to a party. And this bloke comes around and says: ‘Right. You’re next. Have you seen the script?’…And I got the leading part.
Before becoming an actor, Bob Hoskins has a range of miscellaneous jobs. Among them include circus fire eater, porter, lorry driver, and window cleaner. At 25-years-old, he volunteered in Kibbutz Zikim, Israel looking after camels and packing fruit.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
One of Hoskins’ most famous roles was Eddie Valiant in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” Hoskins reflected on the experience filming the movie during which his son wouldn’t speak to him for two weeks. After finally asking for an explanation, his son said he was upset that Hoskins worked with cartoons such as Bugs Bunny without introducing them.
OK so maybe a good number of people know this one already. But because of Bob Hoskins’ infamous role as Eddie Valiant in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit, many Americans don’t realize that Hoskins was actually English. He was born in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England and took on an American accent for the role of Eddie Valiant.
(Pictured: Actor Bob Hoskins arrive at the Los Angeles premiere of ‘Mrs. Henderson Presents’ at the Fine Arts Theatre December 5, 2005 in Beverly Hills, California)
Besides being an accomplished screen actor, Bob Hoskins had plenty of work on television and behind the scenes. He directed and starred in two films- “The Raggedy Rawney” (1988) and “Rainbow” (1996).
He also worked in British television, winning International Emmy awards.
(Pictured: Actor Bob Hoskins poses for photographers as he arrives at the UK Premiere of Maid in Manhattan February 26, 2003 in London, United Kingdom)
Among his awards include the presitious Prix d’interprétation masculine, the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama for his role in Mona Lisa. His appearance on BBC One drama “The Street” (2009) landed him an International Emmy Award for Best Actor.
(Pictured: British actor Bob Hoskins receives a special ‘Donosti Award’ during the San Sebastian International Film Festival September 27, 2002, at Kursaal Palace in San Sebastian, Spain)
Another one of Bob Hoskins’ most famous roles was Mario in “Super Mario Bros” (1993). However, not only was Hoskins unaware of the popular video game during filming, but he later revealed that he regretted participating in the film. In a 2007 interview with The Guardian, he said that he was extremely unhappy with the film despite his praise for his portrayal of Mario. He even referred to it as the worst thing he ever did.
(Pictured: Bob Hoskins speaks to reporters about his film ‘Mrs. Henderson Presents’ during a TIFF press conference on September 9, 2005 in Toronto, Canada)
In the 2001 British film “In Search of La Che,” every line a minor character, Wermit, speaks is a Bob Hoskins quote. The film is a spoof documentary about a man who tries to recover the mystery of a disappeared rock star.
Almost Al Capone
He was director Brian De Palma’s second choice to play Al Capone in “The Untouchables” (1987) after Robert De Niro. Hoskins frequently played gangsters and short-tempered characters, so it’s no surprise that he would be an option for this role. De Palma reportedly gave Hoskins a six-figure paycheck for “being a great standby” for the role.
Nearly three years ago, Bob Hoskins retired from acting after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Other celebrities diagnosed with Parkinson’s include Muhammad Ali, Michael J. Fox, Johnny Cash, Maurice White, Estelle Getty, Billy Connolly, and Pope Saint John Paul II.
(Pictured: Bob Hoskins turns on the Christmas lights at St Paul’s Cathedral on November 3, 2009 in London, England)
When an interviewer asked what he owed his parents, Hoskins said,
Confidence. My mum used to say to me, ‘If somebody doesn’t like you, fuck ’em, they’ve got bad taste.’
(Pictured: Actor Bob Hoskins arrives for the World Film Premiere of Disney’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the Odeon Leicester Square on November 3, 2009 in London, England)