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Bob Hoskins: A Likable British Tough Guy

Bob HoskinsBritish actor Bob Hoskins was known to joke that if a film were to be made about him, Danny DeVito would be perfect for the role.  

Indeed, at a roly-poly five feet six inches, with his bullet-shaped head crowned by a sparse widow’s peak, Hoskins – who died on April 29 in England at age 71 – was hardly physically imposing, nor Hollywood handsome. “Not even my mum would call me pretty,” he admitted in a 2009 interview.

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Nevertheless, like another vertically challenged actor, the great Jimmy Cagney, Hoskins dominated the movie screen, projecting an ambiance of tightly coiled menace. In films such as 1980’s The Long Good Friday and 1986’s Mona Lisa, he was the prototypical Cockney gangster, blunt spoken and quick to explode in brutal violence, but at the same time oddly insecure about his lower-class status. YouTube Preview Image

But Hoskins’ deft mix of roughness and vulnerability made him an oddly likable tough guy, and his versatility as an actor enabled him to parody a film noir private detective in the offbeat 1998 comedy hit Who Framed Roger Rabbit, where he shared the screen with animated characters. YouTube Preview Image

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Here are some facts about Hoskins and his remarkable 30-year career:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: James Laurence Stewart via Wikipedia

 

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