I was deeply saddened today to hear that the actor, Bob Hoskins has died.
Bob Hoskins was born on 26th October 1942 in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. His mother was a cook, his father a lorry driver. When Bob was just two weeks old, his family moved to Finsbury Park, North London, the area in which the future actor would grow up.
To me, Bob was the quintessential, working-class Londoner- a tough cookie with a gruff accent who, deep down, had a caring heart and a great sense of humour.
During his career, Bob Hoskins made many great films, several of which were based around his home turf….
The Long Good Friday (1980)
In this controversial film, Bob Hoskins played ‘Harold Shand’, an old school-gangster who, through circumstances beyond his control, becomes unnervingly entangled with the IRA…
In the final, terrifying scene, Harold Shand exits the Savoy Hotel and blunders straight into a trap….realizing all too late that his car has been seized by two IRA assassins (one of whom is played by a very young Pierce Brosnan).
As the gunmen drive their captive along The Strand towards Trafalgar Square, Harold Shand’s face twists through many emotions, ranging from anger to total despair. Click the video below to view this masterful piece of acting:
Mona Lisa (1986)
In Mona Lisa, Bob plays George, a recently released convict who secures the job of chauffeuring Simone, a high-class prostitute (played by Cathy Tyson).
Based around King’s Cross, when the area was a hellish red-light district, George and Simone soon form a close friendship. For this role, Bob gained an Oscar nomination; an accolade which he sadly never gained.
The film also features Sir Michael Caine, another wonderful London actor who is still thankfully very much with us.
Please click the video below to watch the opening sequence in which Bob Hoskins’ character, just out of prison, walks across Waterloo Bridge and back towards his estranged home.
Made in Dagenham (2010)
Made in Dagenham is based upon a true story in which female workers at the sprawling Ford car plant in Dagenham went on strike in 1968 in a call for equal pay. In the film, Bob plays Albert, a union rep who was very much in support of the women.
Please click below to view one of the film’s most moving scenes:
Rest in peace, Bob.
Bob Hoskins. 1942-2014