Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season 10 Movies Booed At Cannes 10 Movies Booed At Cannes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

The 5 Best Bob Hoskins Performances

The Playlist By The Playlist Staff | The Playlist August 9, 2012 at 1:43PM

For many actors, there is no such word as "retirement." While there are big names who slip away from the movie business to do other things, or simply enjoy time off as they head into their twilight years -- Gene Hackman and Peter O'Toole being among the recent examples -- those feel like the exception, rather than the rule. But unfortunately, the great British character actor Bob Hoskins has been forced to step away from the limelight.
9
Bob Hoskins

For many actors, there is no such word as "retirement." While there are big names who slip away from the movie business to do other things, or simply enjoy time off as they head into their twilight years -- Gene Hackman and Peter O'Toole being among the recent examples -- those feel like the exception, rather than the rule. But unfortunately, the great British character actor Bob Hoskins has been forced to step away from the limelight.

The actor, who started out in the theater before working for thirty years in the movies both at home and in Hollywood, announced yesterday that, sadly, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease last fall, at the age of 69, and is now stepping away from acting in order to spend time with his family. As it stands, this summer's "Snow White & The Huntsman" is his last film.

Hoskins was never of the physical type to be an A-lister, and yet had an extraordinary amount of success for a London-raised lad who left school at 15. Tackling comedy and tragedy, heroes and villains, megabudget blockbusters and microbudget indies, he never gave a performance anything less than his all. He'd steal scenes in supporting parts, and when he played the lead, he'd knock it out of the park more often than not. To commemorate the outstanding career of Bob Hoskins, we've picked out five of our favorite peformances by the actor. Check them out below.

The Long Good Friday
"The Long Good Friday" (1980)
To this day, the high watermark of the British crime movie, despite the many knock-offs that have come since, remains John Mackenzie's terrific 1980 film "The Long Good Friday." Hoskins plays Harold Shand, a London gangster sitting at the top of the tree, who looks to become legitimate with a huge property development in the Docklands era of East London, in the hope that it might serve as the site for a future Olympics. But he's under attack from an unknown enemy (the IRA, it would seem), causing the U.S. Mafia to pull out of the agreement, and leaving Harold desperate to salvage his deal. It's firmly a film that sums up its era -- timed perfectly to the arrival of Margaret Thatcher in government, with Harold as the kind of figure who would have flourished under her. But political subtext aside, it's also simply a gripping thriller, with a star-making performance from Hoskins, showing both the peaceful, honorable man Shand wants to be, and the psychotic thug that lies underneath. His final scene, as he's confronted by an IRA hitman (Pierce Brosnan, in his first screen role) is something of an acting masterclass. It was Hoskins' first major screen role (he’d been seen a couple of years earlier alongside Peter O’Toole and Burt Lancaster in “Zulu Dawn”), and the one that paved the way for everything that came after.


Mona Lisa
"Mona Lisa" (1986)
Neil Jordan's career is fascinating, but arguably a very patchy one. However one early indisputable crown jewel is the unlikely romantic crime drama "Mona Lisa" largely due in part by Bob Hoskins, who in an intriguing flip-side to the role that made his name six years earlier, plays as a good-hearted, but meek underling just getting out of prison. Having covered for his old mob boss (Michael Caine), Hoskins' George is still a flunkie doormat with few options allowing him to go straight , but eventually, is given a cushy job as a chauffeur for a high-class black prostitute (Cathy Tyson). As George becomes friendlier with Simone, affections begin to bloom and George becomes entangled in her life when she pleads him to track down one of her abused friends from her shady past. Hoskins' range has illustrated that he can playing raging boils or soft-hearted patsys, and in "Mona Lisa," he convincingly plays a low-level stooge with soft devotion in a wonderfully minor key. He’s a man lost in an England he no longer recognizes, and even among a strong cast (Caine, somewhat against type, is a great villain), Tyson should have gone on to better things than she did, and you can spot early appearances from Robbie Coltrane as well as future “The Wire” star Clarke Peters), he dominates; quite rightly, he won Best Actor at Cannes, and was nominated for an Oscar. Larry Clark was planning a remake a few years ago with Mickey Rourke and Eva Green. One breathes a sigh of relief that somehow never came to pass...

This article is related to: Features, Bob Hoskins, The Essentials


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates