Hoskins retires from acting after Parkinson’s diagnosis

Bob Hoskins’s retirement after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease brings the curtain down on a distinguished career.

The 69-year-old actor has starred in Hollywood hits such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit and the homegrown underworld classic The Long Good Friday.

His role as George, the petty criminal who becomes entangled with a high-class prostitute, in the 1986 hit Mona Lisa won him an Oscar nomination for actor in a leading role.

His agent announced yesterday that he was withdrawing from acting after a “wonderful career” and would be spending time with his family.

A statement, issued on his behalf, said: “Bob Hoskins wishes to announce that he will be retiring from acting, following his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease last autumn.

“He wishes to thank all the great and brilliant people he has worked with over the years, and all of his fans who have supported him during a wonderful career. Bob is now looking forward to his retirement with his family, and would greatly appreciate that his privacy be respected at this time.”

His parts over the years have ranged from gritty gangster films to comedy roles and he was seen earlier this year playing one of the seven dwarves in Snow White & The Huntsman.

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological condition which has no known cure. It is often known for the tremors which it causes but other effects include slow movements and depression.

Back To The Future star Michael J Fox is among the high-profile figures who have been diagnosed with the disease.

Hoskins has appeared in more than films since first finding screen success in the early 1970s, beginning with small parts and becoming a familiar face through his starring role in Dennis Potter’s BBC series Pennies From Heaven.

The north London-raised star spent a brief spell working in a circus, as well as being a porter and lorry driver before turning to acting.

Although he rose to prominence in gritty British films — notably in The Long Good Friday, and Mona Lisa — he successfully built up a profile in the US.

Hoskins’s performances have gone on to include Mermaids opposite Cher, as well as Hook and Super Mario Bros. His London accent did not stop him from taking a role as FBI boss J Edgar Hoover in the 1995 film Nixon.

And despite big-budget hits, he has been more than happy to appear in low- budget movies such as A Room For Romeo Brass.

Hoskins is also known for his association with a British Telecom (now BT) ad campaign, featuring the line “It’s good to talk”.

The star — who has been married to his second wife Linda for 30 years — has also moved into directing with The Raggedy Rawney and Rainbow.

Despite his flourishing big screen career, he took a role in Jimmy McGovern’s BBC1 series The Street in 2009, winning an Emmy award.

He was famously on stand-by to play Al Capone in Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables, until Robert De Niro agreed to take the role.

The director went on to send him a cheque for £20,000. Hoskins said: “I phoned him up and I said ‘Brian, if you’ve ever got any films you don’t want me in, son, you just give me a call’.”


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