Robert William "Bob" Hoskins, Jr. (born 26th October 1942) was an English actor known for playing Cockney rough diamonds, psychopaths and gangsters, in films such as The Long Good Friday (1980), and Mona Lisa (1986). He has since played lighter roles in family films, such as Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) and Smee in both Hook (1991) and Neverland (2011).
Bob's acting career started in London in the late 1960s when he was sitting in a pub enjoying a beer when someone came up to him and told him to go upstairs to audition for a play, which he did, and landed the role. His first major television role was in On the Move (1978), an educational series intended to tackle adult illiteracy, in which he played Alf, a removal man who had problems reading and writing. In the same year, he came to wider attention in the original BBC version of Dennis Potter's drama Pennies from Heaven as sheet music salesman Arthur Parker. Later, he played Iago in Jonathan Miller's BBC Television Shakespeare production of Othello.
Bob's performances in British films such as The Long Good Friday (1980) and Mona Lisa (1986) won him the wider approval of the critics and, in the case of the latter, a Cannes Award, Best Actor Golden Globe and BAFTA Awards and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. He also delivered comic turns in Terry Gilliam's Brazil (1985) and Super Mario Bros. (1993). Bob was not initially aware that Super Mario Bros. was based on the popular video game of the same name. His son had asked him what film he was working on, and recognising it, showed Bob the video game on the Nintendo video game console. During the late 1980s and early 1990s he appeared in advertising for the recently privatised companies of British Gas and British Telecom (now BT Group).
Bob had a small role as a rock band's manager in the Pink Floyd film The Wall. He has also directed films. Bob appeared in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, for which he received a second Golden Globe nomination. Some of Bob's other notable appearances include playing opposite Cher in Mermaids (1990), boatswain Smee to Captain Hook in Hook (1991), and as the same character in Neverland (2011), and Uncle Bart, the psychopathic and violent "owner" of Jet Li in Unleashed aka Danny The Dog. He has also performed in several television productions for the BBC, including Dennis Potter's Pennies From Heaven, Flickers, David Copperfield as Wilkins Micawber (1999), and The Wind in the Willows. He played Nikita Khrushchev in the movie Enemy at the Gates (2001). Khrushchev was shown in his political commissar days during the Battle of Stalingrad. He received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Mrs Henderson Presents.
In 2009, Bob made a return to British television in Jimmy McGovern's drama serial The Street, where he played a publican who stands up to a local gangster. For this role he received his first Emmy when he won Best Actor at the 2010 International Emmys.