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Bob Hoskins dies at age 71

Seen here at the Moet British Independent Film Awards at Old Billingsgate Market on December 5, 2010 in London, England, actor Bob Hoskins passed away of pneumonia on April 29, 2014.
Photo by Gareth Cattermole

Sad news for movie fans in Fresno and all over the world today as acclaimed character actor Bob Hoskins, best known for his role as Private Detective Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, passed away today at age 71.

As reported by such sources as The Chicago Tribute and IGN, Hoskin's agent said that the died of pnumonia in a hospital on Tuesday surrounded by his family.

A statement issued on behalf of his wife Linda and his children said: "We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Bob. Bob died peacefully at hospital last night surrounded by family, following a bout of pneumonia.

"We ask that you respect our privacy during this time and thank you for your messages of love and support."

Hoskins retirement from acting in 2012, after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, an incurable muscular disorder.

Hoskins began his career in the 1970s on British television shows such as Thick as Thieves and Rock Follies of '77. When he made the transition to big film roles, his turn as a mobster in 1980s The Long Good Friday shot him to stardom and defined his tough-guy persona.

He was nominated for a best actor Oscar in 1987 for his role in Mona Lisa, in which he starred opposite Sir Michael Caine and Robbie Coltrane, and won a Golden Globe award.

The Suffolk-born Hoskins became a staple face in the British film industry, often playing Cockney-speaking characters in both comedy and drama genres with his trademark gravelly voice.

His big Hollywood break came in 1988 when he played Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, probably his most well-known role and one for which he received a Golden Globe nomination. He then went on to play roles in 1990's Mermaids and 1991's Hook. He also portrayed Mario in 1993's Super Mario Bros., and J. Edgar Hoover in the 1995 movie Nixon.

In the later years of his career, he took on parts in smaller films, including a role in Made in Dagenham, about women seeking equal pay with male workers at a car plant near London.

He also played the voice of the character Winston in the 2006 film Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, and for Mr. Fezziwig in 2009's A Christmas Carol.

His final role was as one of the eight dwarves in 2012's dark fairy tale Snow White and the Huntsman, alongside Chris Hemsworth and Kristen Stewart.

Hoskins was beloved by his family, friends and fans and he will be dearly missed.