Bob Hoskins was one of Hollywood’s quiet achievers, starring in some of the industry’s quirkiest hits without ever making a song and dance about himself. The news of his death at 71 has left a big hole in the movies for a larger than life character we’ll miss sorely.
Here are 10 favourite movies starring Hoskins. We salute you.
1. Who Framed Roger Rabbit, 1988
Private dick Eddie Valliant gets a little hot and bothered under his notably missing collar, not to mention drops his pants, for the steamiest cartoon around, Jessica Rabbit, voiced by none other than Kathleen Turner.
2. Hook, 1991
Hoskins was the best thing about Hook’s return to Neverland, a slightly disappointing Steven Spielberg affair. Here he is, with an exasperated Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman), having an “apostrophe.” He recently reprised the role in a made-for-TV mini series.
3. Brazil, 1985
Almost dubbed 1984 ½, Hoskins was fantastic as the crazed Spoor alongside such luminaries as Michael Palin, Jonathan Pryce, Ian Holm and Robert De Niro in Terry Gilliam’s crazy dystopian masterpiece that isn’t 12 Monkeys, Brazil.
4. The Long Good Friday, 1980
This British gangster flick brings the legendary actor face-to-face with the Queen AKA Helen Mirren. It’s a rollicking ride with cars, guns and cockney accents galore.
5. Last Orders, 2001
Hoskins and Mirren were reunited in London town alongside Michael Caine, Ray Winstone and Tom Courtenay in this moving musing on death, adapted from the Graham Swift novel that itself riffed off William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. Aussie writer/director Fred Schepisi took the reins.
6. Mona Lisa, 1986
In this Oscar nominated and Bafta winning peformance, Hoskins played a not so classy chauffeur, George, to high class escort, Simone (Cathy Tyson), in this Soho-set piece that starts off funny – they don’t get along – before morphing into a thriller. Also starring Michael Caine.
7. Mermaids, 1990
Cher and Winona Ryder are unusual co-stars for Hoskins, but this cheerily sweet comedy makes it work. Cher plays Mrs Flax, who has the hots for his shoe storeowner character, Lou Landsky. The chanteuse crooned The Shoop Shoop Song in this film.
8. Nixon, 1995
Hoskins played mean old FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover long before Leo DiCaprio in Oliver Stone’s Nixon, alongside Anthony Hopkins as the corrupt President himself. Watch them plot together in this nasty scene.
9. Mrs Henderson Presents, 2005
Stephen Frears cast Hoskins against type as the terribly posh Soho club owner Vivian “VD” Van Damm, alongside fellow British legend Judy Dench in this all-singing, all-dancing affair. Saucy.
10. Felicia’s Journey, 1999
A criminally underrated classic, Atom Egoyan’s surreal take on William Trevor’s novel sees Hoskins plays Joseph Hilditch a Midlands-based catering who’s also a serial killer, though you never see his crimes on screen. Elaine Cassidy plays a young Irish girl oblivious to the fact that she’s next on his list.