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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7 things we learned from the Comic Relief Love, Actually sequel

Even gay subtext is enough to get you killed.

After weeks of hype, the Love, Actually Comic Relief short sequel, Red Nose Day, Actually, finally aired tonight. It might not compare to Stephen’s version of events, but was exactly what you’d expect, really – the most memorable elements of each plotline recreated and recycled, with lots of jokes about the charity added in. So what did Red Nose Day, Actually actually teach us?

Andrew Lincoln’s character was always a creep

It was weird to show up outside Keira Knightley’s house in 2003, and it’s even weirder now, when you haven’t seen each other in almost a decade. Please stop.

It’s also really weird to bring your supermodel wife purely to show her off like a trophy. She doesn’t even know these people. She must be really confused. Let her go home, “Mark”.

Kate Moss is forever a great sport

Judging by the staggering number of appearances she makes at these things, Kate Moss has never said no to a charity appearance, even when she’s asked to do the most ridiculous and frankly insulting things, like pretend she would ever voluntarily have sex with “Mark”.

Self-service machines are a gift and a curse

In reality, Rowan Atkinson’s gift-wrapping enthusiast would have lasted about one hour in Sainsbury’s before being replaced by a machine.

Colin Firth’s character is an utter embarrassment, pull yourself together man

You’re a writer, Colin. You make a living out of paying attention to language and words. You’ve been married to your Portuguese-speaking wife for almost fourteen years. You learned enough to make a terrible proposal all those years ago. Are you seriously telling me you haven’t learned enough to sustain a single conversation with your family? Do you hate them? Kind of seems that way, Colin.

Even gay subtext is enough to get you killed

As Eleanor Margolis reminds us, a deleted storyline from the original Love, Actually was one in which “the resplendent Frances de la Tour plays the terminally ill partner of a “stern headmistress” with a marshmallow interior (Anne Reid).” Of course, even in deleted scenes, gay love stories can only end in death, especially in 2003. The same applies to 2017’s Red Nose Day actually. Many fans speculated that Bill Nighy’s character was in romantic love with his manager, Joe – so, reliably, Joe has met a tragic end by the time the sequel rolls around.  

Hugh Grant is a fantasy Prime Minister for 2017

Telling a predatory POTUS to fuck off despite the pressure to preserve good relations with the USA? Inspirational. No wonder he’s held on to office this long, despite only demonstrating skills of “swearing”, “possibly harassing junior staff members” and “somewhat rousing narration”.

If you get together in Christmas 2003, you will stay together forever. It’s just science.

Even if you’ve spent nearly fourteen years clinging onto public office. Even if you were a literal child when you met. Even if you hate your wife so much you refuse to learn her first language.

Now listen to the SRSLY Love, Actually special:

Anna Leszkiewicz is a pop culture writer at the New Statesman.