Bob Hoskins Poster


Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (47)  | Personal Quotes (30)

Overview (5)

Born in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England, UK
Died in London, England, UK  (pneumonia)
Birth NameRobert William Hoskins
Nickname The Cockney Cagney
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Bob Hoskins was described by the director John Mackenzie as "an actor from the British tradition but with an almost American approach, an instinctive approach to acting and knowing how to work with the camera". He 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. He is the son of Elsie Lillian (Hopkins), a nursery school teacher and cook, and Robert William Hoskins, Sr., who drove a lorry and worked as a bookkeeper. 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 (1975) 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 always carefully balanced the riches of Hollywood with the labor of independent film, though leaned more towards the latter than the former. He worked at smaller projects such as Shane Meadows' debut TwentyFourSeven (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).

Suffering from Parkinson's disease in later years, Hoskins died of pneumonia at age 71 in a London hospital.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Thomas Beekers

Spouse (2)

Linda Banwell (1982 - 29 April 2014) ( his death) ( 2 children)
Jane Livesey (1967 - 1978) ( divorced) ( 2 children)

Trade Mark (3)

Gravelly voice and strong cockney accent
Frequently played grouchy, short-tempered characters
Short stature

Trivia (47)

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.
Claimed to never have taken an acting lesson in his life and believes in the talent to be "all natural".
Dropping out of school at age 15, he worked odd jobs, including a fire eater in a circus.
Has portrayed four World War II leaders in films: Nikita Khrushchev (Enemy at the Gates (2001)), Winston Churchill (World War II: When Lions Roared (1994)), Benito Mussolini (Mussolini and I (1985)) 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".
Adopted an American accent for the role of Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988).
Described himself as "Five-foot-six and cubic". He once described his face as looking like squashed cabbage.
His grandmother was a Romani (Gypsy). His film, The Raggedy Rawney (1988), was based on stories his 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.
Attended and graduated from the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, England.
Was considered for the role of Senator Ralph Owen Brewster in The Aviator (2004), before Alan Alda was cast.
Replaced Danny DeVito as Mario Mario in Super Mario Bros. (1993).
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), Hoskins was his first choice for the role of Irongron in Doctor Who: The Time Warrior: Part One (1973). Hoskins was not available to take the part but recommended David Daker, who was cast instead.
He was friends with 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 was a huge fan of jazz music and his favorite albums include "Kind of Blue" by Miles Davis and "Lambert, Hendricks, & Ross!".
He played the role of Smee, Captain Hook's right hand man, in both Hook (1991) and Neverland (2011).
(August 8, 2012) Announced his retirement from acting after the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease in Autumn 2011.
All the lines of the character Wermit in the film In Search of La Che (2011) are all quotes of Bob Hoskins.
Spent a short period of time volunteering at Kibbutz Zikim in Israel when he was age 25.
Worked as a porter, lorry driver and window cleaner before he discovered acting.
Attempted a three-year accounting course, but dropped out.
Did not start acting until he was 26 years old.
His acting career began in 1969 at the Unity Theatre. One evening, he was waiting in the Unity Theatre bar for his friend, the actor Roger Frost, to finish an audition. Whilst drinking at the bar, he was given a script and told "You're next.".
Was the original choice to play Buster Edwards in Buster (1988), but the filmmakers decided the role of a cockney villain was too close to roles he had played before in The Long Good Friday (1980) and Mona Lisa (1986), so singer Phil Collins was cast instead.
Was the only child of a bookkeeper and nursery school teacher.
His remains are buried in London's Highgate Cemetery.
He was considered for the role of The Penguin in Batman Returns (1992) that went to Danny DeVito.
He was considered for the role of Dr. Weeks in American Friends (1991) that went to Alun Armstrong.
He was considered for the role of Lt. Senna in Homicide (1991) that went to Vincent Guastaferro.
He was considered for the role of Horace Slughorn in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) that went to Jim Broadbent.
He was considered for the role of Salvatore Maroni in The Dark Knight (2008) that went to Eric Roberts.
His father was a communist and brought up Hoskins to be an atheist.
In 1967, aged 25, Hoskins spent a short period of time volunteering in kibbutz Zikim in Israel, and also herded camels in Syria.
His favourite book was "Mr Norris Changes Trains", by Christopher Isherwood.
He was considered for the role of Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man 2 (2004) that went to Alfred Molina.
In 1983, Hoskins' voice was used in an advert for Weetabix and during the late 1980s and early 1990s, he appeared in advertising for the recently privatized companies of British Gas and British Telecom (now BT Group).
He was offered the role of Jack Ruby in Ruby (1992), but he was busy working on Hook (1991) and had to turn it down. It would have been his third collaboration with John MacKenzie after The Long Good Friday (1980) and Beyond the Limit (1983).
He was considered for the role of Leo Lemke in The Butcher's Wife (1991) that went to George Dzundza.
He turned down the role of Ralph in Romancing the Stone (1984) that went to Danny DeVito.
He turned down the role of Harry Lyme in Home Alone (1990).
Appears in the music video of Jamie T's song "Sheila".
Has never appeared in a film nominated for the Best Picture Oscar.
He was the first choice for Pop Larkin in The Darling Buds of May (1991). It was eventually decided that his fame as a film actor would cause problems and David Jason got the part.

Personal Quotes (30)

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.
[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 horseshit 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 kids' Christmas presents. He's invited me round to meet his granny and he's come to my house for a pot-luck dinner. 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.
[in his last-ever interview in August 2012] My greatest pleasure in life is a completely appointment-less day with nothing to do. It means I can read a book, listen to the radio and do exactly as I wish. If you are going to do a film properly you have to give yourself completely to it. You can't slip in and slip out again. You give it the business. My diary now is free, completely free. That's the way I like it. I only do what I want to do.
There was a time when people said, "You've got to speak like you don't, walk like you don't, be like you aren't." I said, "Ere, 'ang on, who am I? I'd be lost if I did that. I'd be disappearing. I'd be ectoplasm!".
[on the best kiss of his life] With Natasha Richardson, God bless her, on The Favour, the Watch and the Very Big Fish (1991). She got hold of me and kissed me like I've never been kissed before. I was gobsmacked.
[on what song he would like played at his funeral] Play what you like, I won't be there.
[asked why he did a much-maligned series of adverts for British Telecom] For 500,000 reasons, all of them with the Queen's head on.
[on moving in middle-class circles] There are four types of reaction. They lock up the silver. They talk to you slowly like you're an idiot. They think Hamlet in a cockney accent is the funniest thing in the world. Or they tell you most of their friends are working class and some are even black.
(On what he owes his parents) Confidence. My mum used to say to me, "If somebody doesn't like you, fuck 'em, they've got bad taste."
(On which living person he despises the most) Tony Blair - he's done even more damage than Thatcher.
(On his earliest memory) The face of a cat looking into my cot at my home in Finsbury Park.
(On the most valuable lesson life has taught him) It's your life, live it your way.
[on acting as taught by Lee Strasberg] That's bollocks! Like how to look busy. It's just looking busy, impressing the boss.
Acting is like therapy, expressing the most extreme emotions and passions that a human being's capable of. Then inevitably tragedy hits your own life, and all your family and friends gather round quite sincerely and openly show their pain, share their grief and comfort each other. But you immediately click into acting mode, and you know that you're fucking acting.

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