Who Framed Roger Rabbit actor Bob Hoskins has died at the age of 71 from pneumonia.The British actor, who retired in 2012 due to his on-going battle with Parkinson’s disease is said to have died peacefully at hospital. His wife of 32 years, Linda, said: “We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Bob. He died peacefully at hospital last night surrounded by family, following a bout of pneumonia. We ask that you respect our privacy during this time and thank you for your messages of love and support.”
While Bob was known for playing gangsters and cockneys, his most recognisable role was as a toon-hating detective in the iconic fantasy comedy Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Though his greatest role was in crime drama Mona Lisa for which he won a Golden Globe and BAFTA, as well as being nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor.
Bob’s career path was rather unconventional. After leaving school at the age of 15 he worked as a lorry driver, porter and window cleaner. One day, while drinking at a bar waiting for an actor friend to finish an audition, a script was thrust in his hand and he was told: “You’re next.”
Despite having never acted before, Bob went through with the impromptu audition and got the part. His friend recalled: “He just got on stage and was brilliant.” From there a star was born with Bob moving onto TV work starring in On The Move in 1976. British films The Long Good Friday (1980) and Mona Lisa (1986) rapidly put him on the map with Hollywood beckoning.
A popular choice in both adult and children’s movie, Bob was a well-respected and versatile actor. Hr was also well-loved for his frankness. In an interview he once said the best trait he received from his parents was “confidence. My mum used to say to me: ‘If somebody doesn’t like you, f*** ’em, they’ve got bad taste.’”
Bob leaves behind his wife Linda and their children Rosa and Jack as well as Sarah and Alex from his first wife Jane Livesey.