From the theater to the big screen, Bob Hoskins was a star. Born on October 26, 1942, in Suffolk, Robert William Hoskins Jr. grew up with a limited education. He left school at age 15, but had a passion for the theater arts. Before beginning his television acting career in 1972, he had several odd jobs including a role as a fire eater in the circus. Prior to his passing, Hoskins had announced his retirement in 2012 due to a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease, with his final role portraying Muir in “Snow White and the Huntsman.”
Hoskins has had many notable roles starting with his film debut in 1974 as Big Mac in “Inserts.” For me, his role as Eddie Valiant in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” was his most notable. I watched this movie many times as a child and it only got better with age. Another notable role in his career was his portrayal of Smee, Captain Hook’s right hand man, in “Hook” and the TV mini-series “Finding Neverland.” I can’t bring to memory any other time an actor has played the same character in a non-sequential role. Please feel free to refresh my memory.
If like me, your favorite Bob Hoskins’ memory is of him playing Eddie Valliant, then we are not alone. Here is what fellow Place to Be Nation writer, Derek Cornett, had to say about the actor:
“I wanted to take a moment to chime in on the passing of one of the great English actors. I remember being a child and watching Who Framed Roger Rabbit and I was instantly hooked. You have to give a guy credit for acting in such a way that was 10 years premature. Nowadays people act with green screens and special graphics all the time, but back in 1988, Hoskins was setting the stage for what would come. He was both funny and serious and blended well with all the characters to truly help make that film memorable. He would take that comedy and bring it to the movie Hook, a movie in which he was equally entertaining. Haskins’ real niche was being a serious actor but he truly shined in both types of roles. Cinema lost a true artist and he will be remembered for his ability to make us laugh, cry and look forward to what would happen next.”
Whether your memories go to “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “Super Mario Bros,” or any of his numerous other roles, I think we can all agree that the world is short another amazing actor. Bob Hoskins passed away on April 30 of complications from pneumonia at the age of 71. Bob lived his dream, had an amazing career and will be missed by all who have been touched by his amazing acting throughout the years. Goodbye Eddie, Smee, Mario and Bob. May your legacy live on for generations to come.
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