Bob Hoskins was born on October 26, 1942, in Bury St. Edmund's, Suffolk, where his mother was living after being evacuated as a result of the heavy bombings. Growing up, Hoskins received only limited education and he left school at 15, but with a passion for language and literature instilled by his former English teacher. A regular theatre-goer, Hoskins dreamed of starring on stage, but before he could do so he had to work odd jobs for a long time to make ends meet. His acting career started out more by accident than by design, when he accompanied a friend to watch some auditions, only to be confused for one of the people auditioning, getting a script pushed into his hands with the message "You're next". He got the part and acquired an agent. After some stage success, he expanded to television with roles in television series such as "Villains" (1972) and "Thick as Thieves" (1974). In the mid-'70s, he started his film career, standing out when he performed alongside Richard Dreyfuss in John Byrum's Inserts (1974) and in a smaller part in Richard Lester's Royal Flash (1975).
Hoskins broke through in 1978 in Dennis Potter's mini TV series, "Pennies from Heaven" (1978), playing "Arthur Parker", the doomed salesman. After this, a string of high-profile and successful films followed, starting with his true major movie debut in 1980's The Long Good Friday (1980) as the ultimately doomed "Harold Shand". This was followed by such works as The Cotton Club (1984), Mona Lisa (1986), which won him an Oscar nomination as well as a BAFTA award, Cannes Film Festival and Golden Globe), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) (Golden Globe nomination), Mermaids (1990), Hook (1991), Nixon (1995), Felicia's Journey (1999) and Enemy at the Gates (2001).
Hoskins has always carefully balanced the riches of Hollywood with the labor of independent film, though leaning more towards the latter than the former. He works at smaller projects such as Shane Meadows' debut Twenty Four Seven (1997), in which he starred as "Allen Darcy". Besides this, he found time to direct, write and star in The Raggedy Rawney (1988), as well as direct and star in Rainbow (1995), and contributing to HBO's "Tales from the Crypt" (1989) and Tube Tales (1999).
|Linda Banwell||(1982 - present) 2 children|
|Jane Livesey||(1967 - 1978) (divorced) 2 children|
Frequently plays grouchy short-tempered characters
Ranked #97 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
Father of Rosa Hoskins (born 1983) and Jack Hoskins (born 1986) with Linda Banwell.
Father of Alex Hoskins (born 1968) and Sarah Hoskins (born 1972) with Jane Livesey.
Has claimed to never have taken an acting lesson in his life and believes in the talent to be "all natural".
Worked in a circus as a fire eater.
Has portrayed four WWII leaders in films - Nikita Khrushchev (Enemy at the Gates (2001)), Winston Churchill (World War II: When Lions Roared (1994) (TV)), Benito Mussolini (Mussolini and I (1985) (TV)) and Lavrenti Beria (The Inner Circle (1991)).
He was Brian De Palma's second choice for the role of "Al Capone" in The Untouchables (1987) if Robert De Niro was not available. Hoskins was reportedly given a six-figure paycheck by De Palma for "being a great standby".
He adopted an American Accent for the role of "Eddie Valiant" on Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988).
Describes himself as "Five-foot-six and cubic".
His mother was German Romani (Gypsy) and his film The Raggedy Rawney (1988) was based on stories his gypsy grandmother used to tell him.
He was awarded the 1982 Critics' Circle Theatre Awards (Drama Theatre Award) for Best Actor of 1981 for his performance in Guys and Dolls and True West.
Spent several seasons with the Royal National Theatre and the Old Vic Theatre in London, where his credits included everything from a range of Shakespeare to Chechov to Shaw.
Graduated from the Central School of Speech and Drama, London, England.
In his earlier years before acting he wound up looking after camels in Syria and later packing fruit on a kibbutz in Israel, among many other odd jobs.
According to Barry Letts in Beginning the End: Making 'The Time Warrior' (2007) (V), Hoskins was his first choice for the role of Irongron in "Doctor Who: The Time Warrior: Part One (#11.1)" (1973). Hoskins was not available to take the part but recommended David Daker, who was cast instead.
He was a friend of actor/gangster John Bindon and gave a character reference at his Old Bailey murder trial. Bindon was acquitted.
The first record he bought was "Your Eyes Are The Eyes Of A Woman In Love" by Frankie Laine. He is a big fan of jazz music and his favorite albums include "Kind Of Blue" by Miles Davis and "Lambert, Hendricks, & Ross!"
Announced his retirement from acting after the diagnosis of Parkinson's in Autumn, 2011 [August 8, 2012].
On getting his first role: "I was three parts pissed. We were going to a party. And this bloke comes around and says: 'Right. You're next. Have you seen the script?'...And I got the leading part."
[speaking in 1988] "My life has taken off - my life, my career - everything. I can honestly say I've never been happier. I'm walking around thinking any minute now, 25 tons of horse-shit is going to fall on my head."
"Most dictators were short, fat, middle-aged and hairless. Besides Danny DeVito, there's only me to play them".
When you get to my age, what you want is the cameo. You get paid a lot of money. You fly in for a couple of weeks. Everybody treats you like the crown jewels. It's all great and if the film turns out to be a load of shit, nobody blames you.
My own mum wouldn't call me pretty.
I've watched films and even forgotten I'm in them.
You don't end up with a face like this if you're hard, do ya? This comes from having too much mouth and nothing to back it up with. The nose has been broken so many times.
You reach a point where the cameo is the governor. You go in there for a couple of weeks, you're paid a lot of money, everybody treats you like the crown jewels, you're in and out, and if the film's a load of shit, nobody blames you, y'knowwhadimean. It's wonderful.
The worst thing I ever did? Super Mario Bros. (1993). It was a f**kin' nightmare. The whole experience was a nightmare. It had a husband-and-wife team directing, whose arrogance had been mistaken for talent. After so many weeks, their own agent told them to get off the set! F**kin' nightmare. F**kin' idiots.
[on Robert De Niro] De Niro has only shown me kindness. He's a real friend. He's helped me shop for my wife's and my kid's Christmas presents. He's invited me round to meet his granny and he's come to my house for a pot-luck diner. That really knocked my wife out. I think she was finally impressed with me.
[on director Francis Ford Coppola] Coppola couldn't piss in a pot.
[on Neil Jordan] I think Neil is a magician. And I believe in magic.
[on the acting profession] I came into this business uneducated, dyslexic, 5ft 6in, cubic, with a face like a squashed cabbage and they welcomed me with open arms.
I realized one day that men are emotional cripples. We can't express ourselves emotionally, we can only do it with anger and humor. Emotional stability and expression comes from women. When they have babies they say "hello, you're welcome" and they mean it. It is an emotional honesty.
[on Method acting] Method is a load of bollocks.
Acting is a lark but I'm trying to work less. They say: 'Bob I know you're trying to retire but we've got a little swan song here which is the business...' and I get talked into it. The more you don't want to work, the more work you get. I want to be at home with the wife but she doesn't want me to retire, she wants me out of the house.
Family's all I've got. I've got money, yeah, but it's my family that I care about.
It's funny, going in a pub now and there's no smoke. It may be healthier but it doesn't feel right. Even the beer tastes different.
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