'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Star Bob Hoskins Dead at 71
Bob Hoskins, who had a diverse career playing gruff bad guys and occasional good guys, died of pneumonia on Tuesday at the age of 71.
The British-born star, who retired in 2012 after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, didn’t pursue acting until his late 20s. After getting his start on stage in London, his first big role was playing a sheet music salesman on the 1978 BBC musical drama “Pennies From Heaven,” which established him as an actor. He received a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor in a TV role for it.
[Related: Bob Hoskins’s 10 Most Memorable Roles]
From there he jumped to movies, playing tough guys in 1980’s “The Long Good Friday,” where he was a London gangster trying to go clean, and 1986’s “Mona Lisa,” which saw him as an ex-con who landed a job as the driver of a call girl. The latter role scored him an BAFTA Best Actor award and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
American audiences should remember him best for his role in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” The flick, in which real characters interacted with animated ones, saw him as private eye Eddie Valiant, who was trying to solve a murder involving cartoon character Roger Rabbit. When the film was released in 1988, it was the 20th highest-grossing film of all time and the second highest earning film for that year, coming in behind “Rain Man.”
His other movie roles included playing Cher’s love interest in “Mermaids” (1990), Captain Hook’s second-in-command in “Hook” (1991), J. Edgar Hoover in “Nixon” (1995), and Scrooge’s former boss in “A Christmas Carol” (2009).