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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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Karen Bradley as Culture Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

The most politically charged of the culture minister's responsibilities is overseeing the BBC, and to anyone who works for - or simply loves - the national broadcaster, Karen Bradley has one big point in her favour. She is not John Whittingdale. Her predecessor as culture secretary was notorious for his belief that the BBC was a wasteful, over-mighty organisation which needed to be curbed. And he would have had ample opportunity to do this: the BBC's Charter is due for renewal next year, and the licence fee is only fixed until 2017. 

In her previous job at the Home Office, Karen Bradley gained a reputation as a calm, low-key minister. It now seems likely that the charter renewal will be accomplished with fewer frothing editorials about "BBC bias" and more attention to the challenges facing the organisation as viewing patterns fragment and increasing numbers of viewers move online.

Of the rest of the job, the tourism part just got easier: with the pound so weak, it will be easier to attract visitors to Britain from abroad. And as for press regulation, there is no word strong enough to describe how long the grass is into which it has been kicked.

Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is a regular panellist on BBC1’s Sunday Politics.