Actor Bob Hoskins Dies Of Pneumonia Aged 71

Bob Hoskins, who was best known for hit movies including Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Mona Lisa, has died at the age of 71.

The British star, who won Bafta and Golden Globe awards during a career spanning four decades, died in hospital with his family at his side following a bout of pneumonia.

In a statement, his wife Linda and children Alex, Sarah, Rosa and Jack said: "We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Bob.

"We ask that you respect our privacy during this time and thank you for your messages of love and support."

Hoskins had suffered from Parkinson's disease in the later years of his life and retired from acting in 2012 after what he said had been a "wonderful career".

He was born in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, on October 26, 1942, and said he got his big break by accident after he was mistakenly called for a theatre audition .

The actor's first major movie role came in 1980's The Long Good Friday, in which he played London gangster Harold Shand.

As well as 1986's Mona Lisa and Who Framed Roger Rabbit two years later, he starred in Steven Spielberg's 1991 film Hook.

His distinctive gravelly, cockney accent is also remembered from a TV advertising campaign for BT, in which he told viewers: "It's good to talk."

Leading figures in the entertainment industry were quick to pay tribute to Hoskins on Twitter.

Stephen Fry described him as a "marvellous man", writing : "Oh no, Bob Hoskins. Gone? That's awful news. The Long Good Friday (was) one of the best British movies of the modern era."

Helen Mirren, who starred with Hoskins in The Long Good Friday, said: "Bob was a great actor and an even greater man.

"Funny, loyal, instinctive, hard working, with that inimitable energy that seemed like a spectacular firework rocket just as it takes off.

"I personally will miss him very much, London will miss one of her best and most loving sons, and Britain will miss a man to be proud of."

Officials at Bafta said they were "deeply saddened", while Nick Frost, who starred in Hoskins' final film, Snow White And The Huntsman, tweeted : "A pleasure to have shared the screen with you, mate. An actor's actor and a gentleman to boot. RIP."

Hollywood legend Samuel L Jackson described the actor as a "truly gigantic talent", while Spandau Ballet star Gary Kemp added : "So few cockney actors are taken seriously in acting or even given (the) opportunity. Bob Hoskins smashed the glass ceiling and rose. Respect."

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