Remembering Bob: Hoskins in 1986 at the Cannes premier of Mona Lisa. Photo: Getty
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Bob Hoskins’s finest film moments, from Mona Lisa to Roger Rabbit

The British actor died yesterday of pneumonia following several years with Parkinson’s. We look back at some of his most memorable film roles over five decades.

Bob Hoskins retired from acting in 2012 after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease the year before. He died yesterday of pneumonia in hospital, surrounded by his family. He was 71. 

Hoskins, son of a nursery school teacher and a communist, atheist lorry driver and with one Romani gypsy grandmother, was born in Suffolk, but grew up in Finsbury Park in London. And it was as the archetypal Cockney geezer that he became known. His diminutive height (5 ft 5) also lent itself to a string of comedy roles and character parts but he could do deeply menacing too, playing gangsters both British and Italian-American. 

Here are clips from some of his best or most memorable big-screen roles:

As Harold Shand, the British gangster attempting to become a legit businessman in The Long Good Friday (1980). Here the final, fatal scene:

 

As the US club-owning mobster Owney Madden in 1984 crime drama The Cotton Club:

 

The darkly comic repairman Spoor in Terry Gilliam's steampunk dytopia Brazil (at 3 mins)

 

In perhaps his most iconic role, George the ex-con and driver for prostitute Simone (Cathy Dyson) in Mona Lisa (1986)

 

As Eddie Valiant, an alcoholic private investigator who holds a grudge against the Toons in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)

 

As Cher's lover Lou in Mermaids (1990)

 

As the eponymous plumber Mario Mario in the so bad it's... still bad videogame-to-big-screen Super Mario Bros (1993)

 

As Verloc in the under-the-radar adaptation of  Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent (1996)

 

As the boxing impresario Alan Darcy in Shane Meadows's Twenty-Four Seven (1997); here in a famous dancing scene:

 

Going romcom with J-Lo in Maid in Manhattan (2002), as wise hotel head butler Lionel Bloch:

 

 

As the Windmill Theatre manager with Judi Dench in Mrs Henderson Presents (2005)

 

And as the sympathetic factory boss Albert in Made in Dagenham (2010)

 

And finally...  

A little bit more Bob in this classic shower scene, also from The Long Good Friday

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Thomas Calvocoressi is Chief Sub (Digital) at the New Statesman and writes about visual arts for the magazine.

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SRSLY #77: Unfortunate Events / The Worst Witch / Speed Dial

On the pop culture podcast this week: we discuss the Netflix adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events, the new CBBC version of The Worst Witch and the MTV podcast Speed Dial.

This is SRSLY, the pop culture podcast from the New Statesman. Here, you can find links to all the things we talk about in the show as well as a bit more detail about who we are and where else you can find us online.

Listen using the player below. . .

. . .or subscribe in iTunes. We’re also on StitcherRSS and SoundCloud – but if you use a podcast app that we’re not appearing in, let us know.

SRSLY is hosted by Caroline Crampton and Anna Leszkiewicz, the NS’s assistant editor and editorial assistant. We’re on Twitter as @c_crampton and @annaleszkie, where between us we post a heady mixture of Serious Journalism, excellent gifs and regularly ask questions J K Rowling needs to answer.

The Links

A Series of Unfortunate Events

The trailer for the series. 

Anna's piece on the postmodern aspects of the show.

Neil Patrick Harris' opening number for the 2011 Tonys.

The Worst Witch

The trailer.

How the show discusses imposter syndrome among young women.

Speed Dial

Subscribe to the podcast.

Follow Ira Madison III and Doreen St Felix on Twitter.

For next time:

Anna is watching Silicon Valley.

If you’d like to talk to us about the podcast or make a suggestion for something we should read or cover, you can email srslypod[at]gmail.com.

You can also find us on Twitter @srslypod, or send us your thoughts on tumblr here. If you like the podcast, we’d love you to leave a review on iTunes - this helps other people come across it.

We love reading out your emails. If you have thoughts you want to share on anything we’ve discussed, or questions you want to ask us, please email us on srslypod[at]gmail.com, or @ us on Twitter @srslypod, or get in touch via tumblr here. We also have Facebook now.

Our theme music is “Guatemala - Panama March” (by Heftone Banjo Orchestra), licensed under Creative Commons. 

See you next week!

PS If you missed #76, check it out here.