Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bob Hoskins, RIP

Bob Hoskins is gone

After a long battle with Parkinson's disease, the veteran character actor, age 71, whose career stretched back to the early '70s, was claimed by complications from pneumonia early this morning. Like may people my age, the first time I saw him was in the groundbreaking live action-animation hybrid Who Framed Roger Rabbit in 1988, directed by Robert Zemeckis. So seamlessly did the British-born actor inhabit the role of hard-bitten Los Angeles P.I. Eddie Valiant, jockeying with various iconic cartoon characters. that it was jarring for me to hear him in an interview a few years later speaking in his native thick Cockney accent. 

Whether in fantasy fare like Steven Spielberg's Hook in 1990, or the '94 TV movie World War II: When Lions Roared, Hoskins consistently gave solid, dependable performances. The consummate pro even brought the goods in otherwise execrable stuff like 1993's Super Mario Bros. (which the actor famously disavowed in a 2007 interview, referring to it as "a f***in' nightmare"). His final screen appearance was in 2012's Snow White and the Huntsman, after which he receded from public life due to complications from the Parkinson's he'd been battling since 2011. On the occasion of his passing, Hoskins' daughter posted eleven life lessons from her father, which I think we can all find some wisdom in.

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