Bob Hoskins, the British actor who starred in Pennies from Heaven and The Long Good Friday, has died at the age of 71, his agent confirmed on Wednesday. Hoskins retired from acting two years ago after a diagnosis of Parkinson's. He died of pneumonia, Sky News reported.
In a statement to Sky, his wife and four children said that "Bob died peacefully in hospital last night, surrounded by family, following a bout of pneumonia." They added: "We ask that you respect our privacy during this time and thank you for your messages of love and support."
The actor was best known for playing cockney and gangsters, and he won a number of awards over the years. For his starring turn in Mona Lisa, Hoskins won the BAFTA, the Golden Globe, and the Cannes film festival award for best actor in a film. He was also nominated for an Oscar for that role. He also had leading roles in Brazil, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and the Mermaids. He quite publicly regretted the starring turn he took in Super Mario Bros.
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.— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) April 30, 2014
In 2008, Hoskins spoke to the Guardian on the set of what would be his second to last role, in 2012's Outside Bet. Working through the flu, Hoskins said this about how he kept up the desire to work through the decades:
Despite his flu, Hoskins, who is 69, still has a good-humoured sparkle in his eye. Why does he keep on making films? "I don't actually know. I've got flu up to the eyebrows. I didn't need this film at the moment," he says gruffly. He could be sat at home with his feet up. "I could quite happily but there's always someone who rings up and says, 'Now Bob, before you go, there's a cracking little swansong for you'." He laughs. Everything he has done recently has been sold to him on that, shamelessly morbid, basis. Scripts keep dropping onto his doormat and he can't resist picking them up.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.