Touching twitter post from Bob Hoskins' daughter
British actor Bob Hoskins, whose roles ranged from London gangsters to FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover, has died after a bout of pneumonia, his publicist said on WednesdayPT1M34S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-37imu 620 349 May 1, 2014
British actor Bob Hoskins, who starred in films such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, has died of pneumonia at the age of 71, his family said on Wednesday.
"We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Bob," his wife, Linda, and children Alex, Sarah, Rosa and Jack said in a statement. "Bob died peacefully at hospital last night surrounded by family, following a bout of pneumonia."
Bob Hoskins dies, aged 71
Bob Hoskins in Woolloomooloo to promote his new movie Son of the Mask in 2004. Photo: Robert Pearce
"We ask that you respect our privacy during this time and thank you for your messages of love and support."
The film star, who was Oscar-nominated for best actor for his portrayal of a petty criminal in the 1986 crime drama Mona Lisa, retired two years ago after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
He was born on October 26, 1942 in the southern English county of Suffolk, where his mother, a nursery school teacher, had been evacuated during the World War II bombing of London. His father was a lorry driver and bookkeeper.
British actor Bob Hoskins in 2009. Photo: Reuters
Hoskins left school at 15 and began to do odd jobs, including a spell as a circus performer.
Though a passionate theatregoer, his acting career was only kick-started by a misunderstanding - he had gone to watch auditions with a friend when he was given a script and told "You're next".
But he impressed and won the leading role, which led on to other work on television and in film, including the 1978 BBC drama Pennies from Heaven, for which he was nominated for a BAFTA.
It was his role as London gangster Harold Shand in the 1980 film The Long Good Friday, co-starring Helen Mirren, that launched his career as a film star.
He went on to play key parts in the 1990 film Mermaids, opposite Cher, as well as taking on other roles in films such as Nixon, Hook, Super Mario Brothers, Enemy at the Gates and Vanity Fair.
He was also infamous for having been on standby to play Al Capone in Brian De Palma's The Untouchables, a part that went to Robert De Niro.
De Palma gave Hoskins a large check in compensation, and the actor joked afterwards: "I phoned him up and I said 'Brian, if you've ever got any films you don't want me in, son, you just give me a call.'"
His last film credit was in Snow White and the Huntsman in 2012.
Tributes poured in following his death, with many stars taking to Twitter to express their disbelief.
Actor and comedian Stephen Fry tweeted: "Oh no, Bob Hoskins. Gone? That's awful news. The Long Good Friday one of the best British movies of the modern era. A marvellous man."
Hollywood actor James Woods, who starred with Hoskins in the 1995 drama Nixon, mourned his death by celebrating the Briton's acting talents. He tweeted: "Oh man, what a terrible loss. A great guy and a superb artist."
Fellow Tinseltown legend Samuel L Jackson spoke of his sadness at the news, saying: "Truly saddened by the passing of Bob Hoskins! A truly Gigantic talent & a Gentleman. R.I.P."
The League of Gentlemen actor Mark Gatiss, who starred in a production of The Wind In The Willows with Hoskins for the BBC, posted a photograph of the pair from the show.
He tweeted: "So sad to hear we've lost the great Bob Hoskins. A true gent & an inspiration. Happy memories of 'the Willows' in '06".
Actor Nick Frost shared the silver screen with Hoskins when they appeared together as Nion and Muir, two of the seven dwarves in the 2012 film Snow White And The Huntsman.
Frost tweeted: "Terribly sad news about Bob Hoskins. A pleasure to have shared the screen with you mate. An Actors actor and a gentleman to boot. RIP.
"If you want to see Bob in full flow watch The Long Good Friday. A tour de force. The long shot at the end of Bob in the taxi is amazing."
MCT, AFP/AP, AAP