Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Oscar-nominated English actor Bob Hoskins, who began his acting career on the London stage in the late 1960s, built his early reputation in his home country as Arthur Parker in the popular BBC miniseries scripted by the highly-regarded television playwright Dennis Potter, "Pennies From Heaven" (1978), which earned him a BAFTA TV Award nomination for Best Actor. After receiving an Oscar nomination and winning a Golden Globe award for his role as an ex-con turned cab driver who falls for a beautiful high-priced call girl in the Neil Jordan directed crime/drama/thriller "Mona Lisa" (1986), he made his first mainstream American film in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (1988), portraying Eddie Valiant, the washed-up, alcoholic private detective.
Besides his award-winning performances in the aforementioned films, Hoskins also delivered memorable performances in such films as "The Long Good Friday" (1980), "The Cotton Club" (1984), "Mussolini and I" (1985; TV), "Hook" (1991), "Super Mario Bros." (1993), "Nixon" (1995), "24 7: Twenty Four Seven" (1997), "Felicia's Journey" (1999), "Noriega: God's Favorite" (2000; TV), "Don Quixote" (2000; TV), "Enemy at the Gates" (2001), "Last Orders" (2001), "Maid in Manhattan" (2002), "Son of the Mask" (2005), "Mrs Henderson Presents" (2005), "Hollywoodland" (2006), and "Doomsday" (2008). He is rumored to be co-starring with Jim Carrey in "A Christmas Carol," an animated retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic novel directed by Robert Zemeckis.
"I've watched films and even forgotten I'm in them." Bob Hoskins
The actor, who has claimed to have never have taken an acting lesson ranked #97 in “Empire” (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list (October 1997).
On a more personal note, Hoskins, who describes himself as "five-foot-six and cubic," has been married twice and has two sons and two daughters.
"My own mum wouldn't call me pretty." Bob Hoskins.
Childhood and Family:
Born in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England, on October 26, 1942, Robert William Hoskins was raised in North London. His parents are Elise Hoskins, a German Romanian cook and nursery-school teacher, and Robert William Hoskins, Sr., a bookkeeper and lorry driver who was described in the “London Times” on March 26, 1998, as "a communist and an atheist." In 1967, at age 25, Hoskins spent a short time in Israel.
Growing up in a working-class family in post-war London, young Hoskins stayed in school until he was 15. He then abandoned formal education in favor of a string of diverse jobs. He later became interested in acting and graduated from the Central School of Speech and Drama, in London, England.
From 1967 to 1978, Hoskins was married to Jane Livesey and they have two children, Alex and Sarah Hoskins. In 1982, he married his present wife, Linda Banwell, and they have two children together, Rosa and Jack Hoskins.
Mona Lisa Man
Abandoning formal education at age 15, Bob Hoskins began doing a string of odd jobs and traveled extensively as a youth. He once looked after camels in Syria and packed fruit in Israel. He also worked in a circus as a fire eater.
In the late 1960s, Hoskins began his acting career on the London stage and made his debut in 1968 in a production of "Feather Pluckers." He would later spend several seasons with the Royal National Theatre and the Old Vic Theatre in London, where his credits included everything from Shakespeare to Chechov to Shaw.
Hoskins began appearing on television in the early 1970s in "Villains on the High Road" (London Weekend Television), a July 1972 episode of the anthology drama series "Villains." The following year, he made his feature debut in director Jack Gold's film adaptation of Peter Nichols' dark comedy play, "The National Health" (1973).
He subsequently co-starred as a criminal in the sitcom "Thick as Thieves" (LWT; 1974), and starred as Arthur Parker, a sheet music salesman, in the popular BBC miniseries scripted by the highly-regarded television playwright Dennis Potter, "Pennies From Heaven" (1978), which earned him a BAFTA TV Award nomination for Best Actor.
Entering the new decade, Hoskins acted opposite France de la Tour in the ATV drama/comedy miniseries "Flickers" (1980), and delivered a solid performance as an old fashioned 1960s-style London gangster in the John Mackenzie-directed "The Long Good Friday" (1980; opposite Helen Mirren), which earned him a BAFTA Film Award nomination for Best Actor and won a Best Actor award from the Evening Standard British Film.
Afterward, he was featured in Alan Parker's musical drama film based on the 1979 Pink Floyd album "The Wall," "Pink Floyd The Wall" (1982), which was written by Pink Floyd vocalist and bassist Roger Waters. That same year, he scored a victory as Nathan Detroit in the West End production of the stage musical "Guys and Dolls" and was awarded the 1982 Critics' Circle Theatre Award (Drama Theatre Award) for Best Actor.
In 1983, Hoskins was reunited with director John Mackenzie for his film version of Graham Greene's 1973 novel, "The Honorary Consul" (starring Michael Caine and Richard Gere), which earned him a BAFTA Film Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He was then cast as nightclub owner Owney Madden in Francis Ford Coppola's Oscar-nominated crime-drama film "The Cotton Club" (1984; with Richard Gere, Gregory Hines, and Diane Lane), and appeared in Terry Gilliam's dark comedy "Brazil" (1985; starring Jonathan Pryce).
Hoskins made his U.S. miniseries debut in HBO's "Mussolini: The Decline and Fall of Il Duce" (1985), portraying the title character of the fascist dictator of Italy from 1922 to 1943, opposite Susan Sarandon and Anthony Hopkins. The following year, he garnered critical acclaim as George, an ex-con who works as a driver for a beautiful high-priced call girl whom he later falls in love with, in the Neil Jordan-directed crime/drama/thriller "Mona Lisa" (1986). For his role, Hoskins won the 1987 Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Drama. He was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
“I think Neil is a magician and I believe in magic.” Bob Hoskins (on "Mona Lisa" director Neil Jordan)
Following his Oscar nomination, Hoskins went on to play an American screenwriter in writer/director/actor Alan Alda's comedy "Sweet Liberty" (1986; with Michael Caine and Michelle Pfeiffer), and starred opposite Maggie Smith in Jack Clayton's classy melodrama inspired by Brian Moore's novel, "The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne" (1987).
He also made his first mainstream American film with Robert Zemeckis and Richard Williams' "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (1988). In the film, which is based on the novel "Who Censored Roger Rabbit,” Hoskins adopted an American accent for the role of Eddie Valiant, the washed-up, alcoholic private detective hired to investigate why Roger Rabbit (voiced by Charles Fleischer) cannot keep his mind on his work. His performance received rave reviews and handed him Best Actor nominations at the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films and the Golden Globes. He also won the Best Actor award from the Evening Standard British Film.
After making his feature directorial and screen-writing debut with "The Raggedy Rawney" (1988), in which he also starred in, Hoskins returned to the other side of the camera and romanced Cher in Richard Benjamin's drama film based on the 1986 novel by Patty Dann, "Mermaids" (1990), which also featured Winona Ryder and Christina Ricci.
Hoskins was then cast as a pirate in Steven Spielberg's family action/adventure film based on J.M. Barrie's "Peter Pan," "Hook" (1991; with Dustin Hoffman, Robin Williams, Julia Roberts, and Maggie Smith), and made his first U.S. TV-movie in the Russell Mulcahy directed HBO movie, "Blue Ice" (1992), alongside Michael Caine, Sean Young, and Ian Holm.
He also portrayed Mario, opposite John Leguizamo's Luigi, for the big-budget disappointing film based loosely on the popular video game, "Super Mario Bros." (1993).
After portraying British politician Winston Churchill, opposite Michael Caine's Joseph V. Stalin, in the NBC miniseries "World War II: When Lions Roared" (1994), Hoskins portrayed J Edgar Hoover, the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States, in Oliver Stone's Oscar-nominated biopic about the 37th President of the United States, "Nixon" (1995; starring Anthony Hopkins).
In 1996, Hoskins returned to the director's chair to direct and star in the independent family adventure film, "Rainbow," which also features Terry Finn, Jacob Tierney, Saul Rubinek and Dan Aykroyd, and made his TV directorial debut (also starred in) with "A Fatal Caper" episode of the HB horror anthology series "Tales From the Crypt." Also that year, he played a tabloid editor in Nora Ephron's fantasy motion picture starring John Travolta, "Michael," and returned to the London stage to star in a production of Jon Marans' Pulitzer Prize-nominated two character play "Old Wicked Songs."
1997 saw Hoskins play the owner of a boxing club in Shane Meadows' "24 7: Twenty Four Seven" (1997), which won him a Best Actor award at the European Film Awards. When asked what was it like to learn that Meadows had written the script with him in mind, Hoskins replied, "Oh, s***! When I got the script, I was just astonished. This kid, from his background—and he was just 21 when he wrote it—had this amount of compassion and insight and poetry. And then I met him and he was five-foot-six with a shaved head! I thought, ‘Hey, hey, that's my boy! [Laughs] Another cueball!"
That same year, Hoskins appeared as himself in "Spice World" (1997), the debut feature film of the four-time BRIT Award-winning English pop girl group directed by Bob Spiers. Despite being a commercial success, the film was widely panned by critics.
Hoskins wrapped up the decade collecting praise for his performance as a serial killer in Atom Egoyan's drama thriller adapted from William Trevor's novel, "Felicia's Journey" (1999; opposite Elaine Cassidy), which nominated him for a Best Actor award at the Chlotrudis Awards and won a Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role award at the Genie Awards. He was then reunited with Shane Meadows for a cameo role in the drama/comedy "A Room for Romeo Brass" (1999).
Hitting the new millennium, Hoskins portrayed Sancho Panza in the TNT production of Spanish author Don Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra's 1602 novel, "Don Quixote" (with John Lithgow and Isabella Rossellini) and starred in the Showtime movie "Noriega: God's Favorite," which earned him a Golden Satellite Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television.
Hoskins subsequently portrayed Nikita Khrushchev in Jean-Jacques Annaud's war drama starring Jude Law and Ed Harris, "Enemy at the Gates" (2001) and teamed up again with Michael Caine for Fred Schepisi's film adaptation of Graham Swift's 1996 Booker Prize-winning novel, “Last Orders” (2001), which earned him a National Board of Review award for Best Acting by an Ensemble.
He also appeared in Wayne Wang's box office hit romantic comedy starring Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes, "Maid in Manhattan" (2002), and was featured alongside Hugh Dancy and Jessica Alba in Guy Jenkin's romantic drama set in the 1930s, "The Sleeping Dictionary" (2003). Additionally, he portrayed Bobby Darin's (Kevin Spacey) brother-in-law in the biopic of the legendary singer/actor Bobby Darin, "Beyond the Sea" (2004), which was also directed by Spacey. He then co-starred (as Judi Dench's manager) and executive-produced Stephen Frears' comedy "Mrs. Henderson Presents" (2005), which earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture and a British Independent Film Award nomination for Best Actor.
Hoskins co-starred with Jet Li in the Luc Besson-written action/thriller film "Unleashed" (2005) before being nominated for Razzie's Worst Supporting Actor for his performance as Odin, Loki's (Alan Cumming) father, in “Son of the Mask” (2005), the 2005 sequel to the 1994 comedy film, "The Mask." He also returned to stage to headline the Luigi Pirandello play “As You Desire Me” at the Playhouse Theatre in London, England.
Recently, moviegoers could catch Hoskins as MGM studio executive Eddie Mannix in Allen Coulter's feature directorial debut, "Hollywoodland" (2006; starring Adrien Brody, Diane Lane, and Ben Affleck), and co-starring in writer/director Neil Marshall's science fiction film "Doomsday" (2008).
Hoskins will soon complete the upcoming TV movie "Pinocchio," in which he portrays Geppetto. He is rumored to be co-starring with Jim Carrey in "A Christmas Carol," an animated retelling of Charles Dickens classic novel directed by Robert Zemeckis.
British Independent Film: Richard Harris Award, 2004
Raindance Film Festival: Lifetime Achievement Award, 2004
DVD Exclusive (DVDX): Best Supporting Actor in a DVD Premiere Movie, "The Sleeping Dictionary," 2003
San Sebastián International Film Festival: Lifetime Achievement Award, 2002
National Board of Review: Best Acting by an Ensemble, "Last Orders," 2001
Genie: Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, "Felicia's Journey," 2000
European Film Awards: Best Actor, "24 7: Twenty Four Seven," 1997
Empire: Lifetime Achievement Award, 1999
Evening Standard British Film: Best Actor, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," 1989
Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama, "Mona Lisa," 1987
BAFTA: Best Actor, "Mona Lisa," 1987
Boston Society of Film Critics (BSFC): Best Actor, "Mona Lisa," 1987
Kansas City Film Critics Circle (KCFCC): Best Actor, "Mona Lisa," 1987
London Critics Circle Film: Actor of the Year, "Mona Lisa," 1987
National Society of Film Critics: Best Actor, "Mona Lisa," 1987
New York Film Critics Circle: Best Actor, "Mona Lisa," 1986
Los Angeles Film Critics Association: Best Actor, "Mona Lisa," 1986
Cannes Film Festival: Best Actor, "Mona Lisa," 1986
Valladolid International Film Festival: Best Actor, "Mona Lisa," 1986
Evening Standard British Film: Best Actor, "The Long Good Friday," 1982
Critics' Circle Theatre: Drama Theatre Award - Best Actor, "Guys and Dolls," 1982.