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The English Language Ain't What You Think, Is It Bob?

The English language was what British Actor, Bob Hoskins, spoke with 'linguistic accuracy' and built his stellar reputation on.

It was Tuesday, April 29th, that the world lost a great actor, father and friend. English Actor, Robert "Bob" Hoskins, known for his powerful performances on and off the screen, and regarded as "the Cockney Cagney", has died.

71 year old Hoskins, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2012, died Tuesday of pneumonia in a hospital, his family said in a statement released by London publicist Clair Dobbs.

Lacking any formal training, Hoskins was part of "that admirable postwar lineage of charismatic British actors, from Richard Burton forward," Times critic Charles Champlin wrote in 1986.

Like his good friend Michael Caine, Hoskins could play Americans "with lethal linguistic accuracy," Champlin wrote, "even though his native conversational tongue is Cockney at its most aitchlessly pure."

Wherever his acting took him, Hoskins reveled in his working-class roots.

"There was a time when people said, 'You've got to speak like you don't, walk like you don't, be like you aren't," he told the New York Times in 1982. "I said, 'Ere, 'ang on, who am I? I'd be lost if I did that. I'd be disappearing. I'd be ectoplasm!"

Hoskins had a small role as a rock band's manager in the Pink Floyd film The Wall. He was slated to be a last-minute replacement in the film The Untouchables if star Robert De Niro had not decided to play Al Capone. When De Niro took the part, director Brian De Palma mailed Hoskins a cheque for £20,000 with a "Thank You" note, which prompted Hoskins to call up De Palma and ask him if there were any more movies he didn't want him to be in.

The following is a loving tribute to Hoskins, created by his youngest daughter, Rosa, on her website:

My darling Dad has died. I loved him to the ends of the earth and he loved me back just the same. These are the lessons he taught me, I will keep them close to my heart and remind myself of them whenever I stumble or falter. They are his words; the words spoken so often to encourage, comfort and reassure. This isn’t general wisdom, rather advice that he tailor-made just for me. I love you Dad.

1) Laugh. There’s humour to be found everywhere, even your darkest days there’s something to have a joke about. Laugh long and loud and make other people laugh. It’s good for you.

2) Be yourself. If someone doesn’t like you they’re either stupid , blind, or they’ve got bad taste. Accept who you are, you’ve got no one else to be. Don’t try to change yourself, there’s no point. Don’t apologise. Don’t make excuses. Be yourself and if anyone else doesn’t like it they can (expletive) off.

3) Be flamboyant, it’s who you are and always have been. Be eccentric and unique. Don’t try to adapt yourself to someone else’s view of normal. That belongs to them, not you. Like yourself as you are.

4) Don’t worry about other people’s opinions. Everyone’s a critic, but ultimately what they say only matters if you let it. Don’t believe your own press. People can just as easily sing your praises as they can tear you down. Don’t waste your time on things you can’t change. Let it slide off you like water off a duck’s back.

5) Get angry, it’s ok to lose your temper now and then. If anger stays in, it turns to poison and makes you bitter and sad. Get angry, say your peace, then let it go.

6) What ever you do, always give it a good go. Don’t be afraid of failure and disappointment. If you fall flat on your face then get straight back up. You’ll always regret not trying. Disappointment is temporary, regret is forever.

7) Be generous and kind because you can’t take it with you. When you’ve got something to give, give it without hesitation.

8) Appreciate beauty, take pictures and make memories. Capture it, you never know when it’ll be gone.

9) Don’t take yourself too seriously. People who take themselves too seriously are boring.

10) Never, ever, ever, ever give up. Keep on punching no matter what your up against. You’re only defeated if you give up, so don’t give up.

11) Love with all your heart. In the end, love is the only thing that matters.

Robert William "Bob" Hoskins (26 October 1942 – 29 April 2014) was an English actor known for playing Cockneys and gangsters. He appeared in films such as The Long Good Friday (1980), Mona Lisa (1986), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Mermaids (1990), Hook (1991), Nixon (1995), A Christmas Carol (2009), Neverland (2011) and in his final role in Snow White and the Huntsman (2012).

Hoskins was the recipient of the prestigious Prix d'interprétation masculine as well as winning the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama for his role in Mona Lisa (he was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor) and an International Emmy Award for best actor for his appearance on BBC One drama The Street in 2009.

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Other notes and resources:

See more at: http://hautehoskins.com/2014/04/30/rosa-14/#sthash.aqSyo1dL.SH5fzheF.dpuf
Steve Chawkins, writer, LA Times
http://www.latimes.com/obituaries/la-me-bob-hoskins-20140501,0,3342296.s...
http://www.latimes.com/obituaries/la-me-bob-hoskins-20140501,0,3342296.s...