Actor Bob Hoskins has died at the age of 71. Despite his frequently violent roles he was one of the most loved figures in British cinema. Here are some of his best moments…
The Long Good Friday (1980)
Few actors could be as intimidating as Hoskins at full force, and he’s never been more menacing than in this British gangster epic. Playing crime boss Harold Shand, with Helen Mirren as his gal, Hoskins is arresting as a control freak spinning out of control.
Hoskins could be hyper-animated when required; just ask any of the gangsters in his other movies. Yet when appearing opposite actual cartoon characters, he wisely dialled it down. Glum gumshoe Eddie was the perfect foil to Roger the manic rabbit in this classic.
Garnering Hoskins endless plaudits, including a Bafta win and Oscar nomination, this noirish drama has just the right balance of grit and heart. George (Hoskins) is a recently released criminal employed to chauffeur prostitute Simone (Cathy Tyson) between her clients.
The Street (2009)
A rare television role came in Jimmy McGovern’s Mancunian drama. Unlike his previous hardman casting, Hoskins is pub landlord Paddy, forced to hold his nerve against the gangsters of the area. His quiet, dignified performance won him an Emmy for Best Actor.
Although best known for his hard hitting characters in adult features, Hoskins was a surprisingly familiar face in childrens’ films. In Steven Spielberg’s underrated sequel to Peter Pan (where the boy who never grew up goes through a midlife crisis) Hoskins gives a suitably grubby version of Mr Smee.
Another tale from the wrong side of the tracks, but intelligently written and directed by Shane Meadows. Hoskins is hardnut-gone-soft Alan Darcy, who inspires young gang members through boxing. As the group get closer to a big competition, the gloves come off.
And finally, who could forget this virtuoso lip-synch to Jamie T’s musical binge drinking tragedy?