Bob Hoskins to retire
August 8, 2012 9:24 AM   Subscribe

The character actor has been diagnosed with Parkinson's. Bob Hoskins to retire. He has announced his retirement at the age of 69.
posted by BibiRose (41 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I wish him and his family all the best. My stepdad has this hideous disease and it breaks my heart every day.
posted by Kitteh at 9:26 AM on August 8, 2012

Mona Lisa. Have you seen it? No? Go see it. That is all.
posted by Rangeboy at 9:33 AM on August 8, 2012 [4 favorites]

Mod note: Fixed the post
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:37 AM on August 8, 2012

This sucks. If all he ever did as an actor was star in The Long Good Friday (and Mona Lisa), that would have been enough to secure his place in the British gangster movie firmament.

"The Mafia? I've shit 'em."
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 9:39 AM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

A couple of slightly less well-known great performances by Hoskins: Felicia's Journey--a very creepy film by Atom Egoyan, but with really great performances and The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne; it's a bravura performance by Maggie Smith in the title role, but Hoskins is terrific in a major supporting role. Parkinson's is a brute of a disease, but it also affects different people very differently; I hope he has as easy a ride as possible.
posted by yoink at 9:41 AM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

Aw, man. Wishing him and his family the best.
posted by jquinby at 9:44 AM on August 8, 2012

Great actor, seemed a nice guy in interviews... was in some of my fave films.

Gave local (to me) hero Shane Meadows a big leg up by agreeing to be in Twenty-four Seven (def look that one up).
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:44 AM on August 8, 2012

Such a shame, he always seemed to have such fun with his craft. I loved him in Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Mona Lisa.
posted by fight or flight at 9:45 AM on August 8, 2012

posted by zombieflanders at 9:46 AM on August 8, 2012

A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have.

Thanks for the laughs (and the non-comedic roles).
posted by tilde at 9:46 AM on August 8, 2012

Just chiming in, if you've never seen The Long Good Friday, have a watch. It was amazing IMO, seeing these mobsters having meetings and talking... well, talking to each other like real people, not like actors reciting dialogue.
posted by thermonuclear.jive.turkey at 9:47 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, dear. What a magnificent actor he is.

My dad was diagnosed with Parkinson's at about the same age, and kept writing and was active in politics right up until his death at 82. Dad drove a car quite safely until he was 80. I wish the same or better for Hoskins, who has given so much joy and understanding through his work.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:54 AM on August 8, 2012 [5 favorites]

Don't forget Brazil.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:55 AM on August 8, 2012 [11 favorites]

I figured Hoskins was already retired. And The Long Good Friday is the best British gangster movie. It's available for streaming on Netflix, one of the hidden gems among the vast amounts of crap.
posted by dortmunder at 9:56 AM on August 8, 2012

Seconding what Rangeboy said above. I don't know if seeing it again would have the same effect on me. It would be hard to watch it again after all these years. I tried to watch it once recently and had to give up after the opening credits. I do know that when I saw it the first time not much ever looked or felt the same again. Hoskins' performance was a big part of that.
posted by blucevalo at 9:58 AM on August 8, 2012

Such a great actor. Wishing all the best for him and his family. My grandfather suffered with Parkinson's and it was terrible to see-- fortunately there are much more effective treatments and support now.
posted by idest at 9:59 AM on August 8, 2012

I figured Hoskins was already retired.

He was just in Snow White and the Huntsman. It was digitally manipulated but he was instantly recognizable.
posted by BibiRose at 10:00 AM on August 8, 2012

Hoskins is one of those actors who, even in a supporting role, could make any movie better.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 10:00 AM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

Don't forget Super Mario Bros.!
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:01 AM on August 8, 2012

2nding Felicia's Journey. What a riveting performance.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 10:01 AM on August 8, 2012

Since we're recommending, I'll throw in Last Orders
posted by kokaku at 10:02 AM on August 8, 2012

That sucks. My Grandfather had Parkinsons. It's not pretty.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:02 AM on August 8, 2012

Depending on the severity, he has a future in voiceovers and voice acting. As long as he's doing what he wants to do! (Travel?)
posted by jscott at 10:03 AM on August 8, 2012

He's one of the best. Very sad.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:08 AM on August 8, 2012

Always loved Hoskins, and Felicia's Journey is definitely one of his best performances. I wish him the very best.
posted by metagnathous at 10:10 AM on August 8, 2012

His rapport with Fred Gwynne in The Cotton Club makes that movie. It should have been about the two of them.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:15 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Incredible actor. His lead in the original Pennies From Heaven is simply monumental and astounding. Add to that a range going from The Changeling to Roger Rabbit, and the man is one of the all-time greats.

Good luck, Mr. Hoskins. We wish you the best.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:50 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

The first time I ever saw Bob Hoskins in anything was Flickers, a miniseries about the early days of film-making. He is uncouth and poor, oh, let's just call him a crook. He decides that he can make money making movies, but lacks cash (and artistic sensibility). He marries a wealthy woman, played by the always awesome Francis de la Tour, to get the funds he needs.

He couldn't make every movie he appeared in good (Super Mario Bros?), but he certainly made every movie he appeared in better.

One anecodote is on his Wikipedia page, but I'll repeat it. He was considered for a role in The Untouchables, but Brian De Palma eventually went with Robert De Niro because he's Robert De Niro and Bob Hoskins, for all his fine qualities, isn't. De Palma did send a nice check to Hoskins for being his second choice, which prompted Hoskins to ask if there were any other movies that De Palma didn't want him to be in.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 10:52 AM on August 8, 2012

Oh, Flickers! Yes, he is just fantastic in that.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:07 AM on August 8, 2012

I just watched Roger Rabbit with my wife - she'd never seen it. It held up pretty well, largely due to amazing effects and his performance. There's one bit where he takes his shirt off and it's like HOLY CRAP THAT DUDE HAS THE HAIRIEST BACK EVER. Kind of refreshing and made him seem more believable.

Best of luck to him.
posted by freecellwizard at 11:17 AM on August 8, 2012

Damn, that's sad.

I think the most recent film of his I've seen was Made in Dagenham. He was always excellent in everything I've seen him do.
posted by homunculus at 11:47 AM on August 8, 2012

There's one bit where he takes his shirt off

He takes even more off in Mrs Henderson Presents, if I recall corectly.
posted by homunculus at 11:52 AM on August 8, 2012

Absolutely definitely co-signing the call to Shane Meadows' directorial debut, Twenty Four Seven - you should all watch this movie.
posted by metaxa at 12:09 PM on August 8, 2012

Parkinson's has widely variable effects, and the progression differs from person to person (my mother had it, and it was profoundly disabling in her case). He has made his decision, and probably knows his situation better than anyone else.
posted by Peach at 12:53 PM on August 8, 2012

I've missed him in recent years; seems he just wasn't around as much, maybe declining health was the reason.

Recommendation: The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, with Maggie Smith in the lead. Hoskins is great and it's some of Smith's best work to boot. And let's not forget Mermaids, with Cher and Winona Ryder.

Charlie Rose is running a great occasional feature called "The Brain Series"; one of the recent episodes featured a discussion of Huntington's and Parkinson's, including some interesting information on how both diseases work on the body at the level of DNA.
posted by Currer Belfry at 1:28 PM on August 8, 2012

Former NBA player Brian Grant was much loved as a Portland Trailblazer. He retired in Portland and now that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's, he puts on Shake It Till We Foundation for Parkinson's research.
Brian is not yet so deeply affected as Muhammad Ali who can no longer speak. This is a cruel disease, and it is progressive.
posted by Cranberry at 2:16 PM on August 8, 2012

I saw him onstage in Old Wicked Songs and loved it as much as any of his films. I hope all goes well for him from here on out.
posted by Pallas Athena at 3:11 PM on August 8, 2012

Oh no. Hoskins is truly one of the great character actors of his generation, more soul in a twitch of his eye than in most megastar histrionics.
posted by spitbull at 4:07 PM on August 8, 2012

*sigh* Roger Rabbit, Brazil, Mermaids, Blue Velvet, and a zillion other movies I've seen and loved.

So sad to hear he's going through this and so sad to hear that he's retiring from acting. His presence was one which always lifted up a movie for me.
posted by hippybear at 6:59 PM on August 8, 2012

Hearing Hoskins described as simply a character actor made me almost as sad as hearing of his retirement.
posted by fairmettle at 5:27 AM on August 9, 2012

Seriously, if you haven't seen Mona Lisa or The Long Good Friday do so now. Both stunning performances by Hoskins with superlative support from a raft of British talent.

Hoskins encapsulates the post-War British Male, shit encapsulates post-War Britain, like no other. He can monologue with the best of them too.
posted by fullerine at 2:13 PM on August 9, 2012

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