A lot of millenials like me catch a world of shit for liking Steven Spielberg’s Hook. It’s not a particularly good film, but it has its moments. It also has Bob Hoskins as Smee, making for the film’s funniest and most earnest performance (he reprised the role in a 2011 miniseries). The same can be said of Super Mario Bros., an awful film, but one that I watched frequently growing up (weirdly enough, it may have informed my taste for dystopian sci-fi).
I’m sure it sounds terrible to start this piece with two darker stains on Hoskins’ filmography, but what I loved about Hoskins was that he was often one of the best things about the films in which he acted, and he acted in many good films. The Long Good Friday and Mona Lisa may have been his best work, but my personal favorite performance of his career may be grubby gumshoe Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. An unlikely leading man, Hoskins’ shorter stature and distinctive looks defined him as a character actor, often relegated to supporting roles, which were often just as memorable as his leading ones. Take this hilarious cameo in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, for instance:
Bob Hoskins died yesterday of pneumonia, at the age of seventy-one. We will miss him dearly.