British Character Actor Bob Hoskins Dies At 71

May 1, 2014
Originally published on May 1, 2014 7:35 am
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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's remember now actor Bob Hoskins, who died this week. He's probably best known for playing the private eye in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," opposite a very sexy cartoon, Jessica Rabbit.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT")

BOB HOSKINS: (as Eddie Valiant) You got to have the rabbit to make the scam work.

KATHLEEN TURNER: (as Jessica Rabbit) No. No. No. I love my husband. You've got me all wrong.

MONTAGNE: Bob Hoskins was a perfect big-screen gangster. He was short, but looked mean in a tall fedora.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Hoskins was a veteran of England's Royal National Theatre. He won over critics in the film "Mona Lisa." He played George, an ex-con who falls for the working girl he chauffeurs around London.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "MONA LISA")

HOSKINS: (as George) She was trapped like a bird in a cage, but he couldn't see it. Well, he liked her too much.

INSKEEP: The role won him an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe.

MONTAGNE: The story is he got into acting by accident. He was watching a friend audition for a play when someone handed him a script. Hoskins landed the part. And although he was British, he played a lot of Americans. Oliver Stone cast him as a nasty J. Edgar Hoover in the movie "Nixon."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "NIXON")

HOSKINS: (as J. Edgar Hoover) Sometimes, the system comes very close to cracking. We've already had one radical in the White House. I don't believe it would survive another.

MONTAGNE: Actor Bob Hoskins, in one of his many roles. He was 71 when he died on Tuesday. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.