British character actor Bob Hoskins, who has died at age 71, made a career playing tough guys, gangsters and blue-collar blokes with a unique combination of menace and charm. Here are five of his most memorable performances on the big screen.
"The Long Good Friday": Hoskins' breakthrough film role came in this 1980 British gangster classic directed by John Mackenzie, in which the actor plays an old-school London crime boss trying to close a lucrative (if shady) property deal, only to find unknown enemies bombing his clubs and offing his associates. Helen Mirren also stars in the film as his classy moll.
"Mona Lisa": The 1986 neo-noir drama "Mona Lisa" helped cement Hoskins' career. He earned an Academy Award nomination for best actor and won the equivalent Golden Globe and BAFTA awards for his performance as a recently released ex-con who gets a cushy job driving around a high-class call girl, played by Cathy Tyson.
"Who Framed Roger Rabbit": Hoskins is best known to American audiences as Eddie Valiant, the hard-nosed, hard-drinking, toon-hating private detective in the live-action-and-animation hybrid "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (1988). Hoskins earned his second Golden Globe nomination acting opposite such unforgettable cartoon characters as the antic Roger Rabbit (voiced by Charles Fleischer) and his slinky wife, Jessica Rabbit (voiced by Kathleen Turner).
"Hook": Hoskins showed off his comedic side as Smee, the bumbling right-hand man of Dustin Hoffman's Captain Hook, in Steven Spielberg's 1991 movie based on the "Peter Pan" mythos. As Hook tangles with an adult Peter (Robin Williams), Smee acts as his captain's colorful confidant and even saves him from committing suicide (though not without Hook's own insistence).
"Snow White and the Huntsman": In 2012, Hoskins teamed with countrymen including Eddie Marsan and Ray Winstone to portray the dwarves in Rupert Sanders' dark retelling of the Grimm fairy tale "Snow White." Hoskins played Muir, an elder, blind dwarf with the power of premonition. The role would be his final one.