After forty years in the film business, Bob Hoskins has retired from acting today, citing his recent diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease as the reason why he’ll be out of the limelight. This will make Snow White and the Huntsman his last film, if the retirement holds.
Though he worked throughout the 1970′s, including a large role in the X-rated film Inserts (which also starred Richard Dreyfuss), it was 1980′s The Long Good Friday (pictured above) that made his reputation. It got Hollywood interested in him, enough for Francis Ford Coppola to cast him in his troubled production The Cotton Club, and he also appeared in Pink Floyd: The Wall and in a small part in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.
If he was known for his rotund figure and ability to play nasty, it was his lovelorn turn in Neil Jordan’s Mona Lisa that proved Hoskins was one of the greats. But if he is famous in America it’s because of his role as Eddie Valiant in Robert Zemekis‘ Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Though the film was a commercial powerhouse, the technical bravado of what Hoskins did is immaculate. Not only was he working with an American accent, for much of the film he was playing against nothing. As modern audiences have seen what it means when actors can’t or don’t react to green-screen creatures, Hoskins’ performance stands out as one the greats.
After that he had some high profile roles in bad films, most notably the biggest bright spot in Steven Spielberg‘s Hook, and as Mario in the Super Mario Brothers movie. From there he moved to playing authority until now. He had a great career for someone who could have been typecast from the start, and hopefully retirement will treat him well.
What’s your favorite Bob Hoskins performance?