The legendary actor Bob Hoskins, known for serious roles as well as iconic silly ones, died on April 29th after a battle with pneumonia. This is a truly sad occasion, but Hoskins leaves behind quite the cinematic legacy, so any longtime and new fans can celebrate his life in a variety of movie ways. Seriously, he was one of the greats, and will be missed, and a binge of his films would be advisable.
Throughout his career, Hoskins gained critical fame all over the place, appeasing to the theatrical folks in his homeland of the U.K. and winning many awards in the states. Although the past few years weren’t big for the actor (he retired from acting in 2012 due to illness), his roles are memorable enough even for today’s media-crazed audience. And his gruff demeanor, along with a subtle brilliance for the comedic, made his performances unique and not so easily repeatable by current actors.
After being nominated for two BAFTAs for The Long Good Friday (1980) and The Honorary Consul (1983), Hoskins made one of my favorite appearances in Terry Gilliam’s dystopian masterpiece Brazil (1985) as a vile repairman seeking revenge for a 27B-6. He then blew audiences out of the water in the 1986 film Mona Lisa and went on to have an elegantly awesome career winning awards, directing films, and basically being an English, respectable Danny DeVito.
Hoskins is most awesome for his role as Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988); one of the all time great flicks. Beyond just being a badass, he acted so well that it was difficult to admit that those cartoons alongside him were fake. Simply amazing, and ridiculous to boot. Also, he played Mario Mario in the horrific Super Mario Bros. film released in 1993, a role he played rather well, considering the source material. Funny thing is, he had no idea the story was taken from a video game (says the Internet), which may have accounted for his performance being strangely good (also, Dennis Hopper will be remembered for being King Koopa).
Beyond a couple brilliantly iconic roles and many, many beautiful supporting roles in film, Hoskins was also a seasoned TV actor, his final television role in The Street winning him his only Emmy (don’t worry, Emmy, you have lots of awards to stand next to).
As I have said before about actors ascending the heavenly elevator, Hoskins will be missed, his contributions to Hollywood and other creators of watchable media all quite indicative of a genius actor. Hoskins will go down, though, as one of the more interesting players in cinema and television because of his surprising range, having taken on so many weird, zany, serious, dramatic, and overall challenging roles. He was a hardworking performer, and did every one of his roles justice, even the plumber who has to fight tripped out mushroom monsters.
You will be remembered, Bob Hoskins, for showing us that what a truly natural performer looks like, and how much of an impression a cartoon flick can have with the right amount of acting chops and heart. Enjoy the theaters in heaven, just be wary of anyone asking for a 27B-6, cause they probably just want to reverse the plumbing on your plastic pipe suit (watch Brazil). Time to go watch Mrs. Henderson Presents (2005) and weep for you.