Oscar-nominated British actor Bob Hoskins, whose career spanned a wide spectrum of serious dramatic fare and lighthearted fantasy, died this week from a bout with pneumonia.
The 71-year-old actor who many remember from his starring role in 1988’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit? had a knack for playing gruff, tough characters with kind hearts. His portrayal of a former criminal who takes a job escorting a prostitute in the 1986 drama Mona Lisa earned him a “Best Actor” Oscar nomination. In 2012, Hoskins retired from acting after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. His final role was a part in Rupert Sanders’ Snow White and the Huntsman as one of the seven dwarves who assisted Snow White (Kristen Stewart) in her quest.
Hoskins also played a memorable role in Hook, Steven Spielberg’s 1991’s reinvention of the Peter Pan myth, as Captain Hook’s right-hand man, Mr. Smee. He later reprised the role in the television miniseries Neverland.
While it was far from his most lauded performance, Hoskins also brought Super Mario Bros. leading man Mario Mario to life on the screen in the 1993 live-action movie based on the popular Nintendo game franchise. Although the actor subsequently declared it the worst film he ever made, the film is generally considered the first Hollywood movie based on a video game and it lives on as a cult classic.
Hoskins’ versatility is further evidenced by numerous memorable roles in films like 2001’s tense military drama Enemy at the Gates, in which he played Nikita Khrushchev, and Terry Gilliam’s surreal 1985 fantasy Brazil, in which he plays a vengeful heating engineer in a dystopian society.
“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Bob,” said Hoskins’ family in a public statement announcing his death.
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