Bob Hoskins
Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock.com
  • Faith: Atheist
  • Career: Actor
  • Birthday:  October 26, 1942
  • Date of Death:  April 29, 2014

Bob Hoskins was a film director and actor known for his sensitive but intense portrayals of "tough guy" characters. He started his career on stage before making his screen breakthrough playing Arthur Parker on the 1978 BBC television show "Pennies from Heaven," which earned him the first of four BAFTA Award nominations. He subsequently played lead roles in movies like "The Long Good Friday,” "Mona Lisa,” "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," and "Mermaids."

Hoskins played notable supporting roles in "Pink Floyd The Wall,” "The Honorary Consul,” "The Cotton Club,” "Brazil,” "Hook,” "Nixon,” "A Christmas Carol," and "Snow White and the Huntsman." He played Mario in the 1993 movie "Super Mario Bros.," based on the video game of the same name and voiced Boris Goosinov in "Balto." Hoskins also directed two movies: "Rainbow" and "Raggedy Rawney."

Hoskins received the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival, the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and the 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 for the same role. Hoskins won a Canadian Genie Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for "Felicia’s Journey.” In 2009, he won an International Emmy Award for Best Actor for his appearance on the BBC One drama “The Street.”

In 2012, Hoskins retired from acting due to Parkinson’s disease, with which he was diagnosed in 2011. He died from pneumonia on April 29, 2014, at 71 years old. Of his screen persona, critic Ryan Gilbey wrote, “Hoskins was far from conventional leading-man material. In his moments of on-screen rage, he resembled a pink grenade. But he was defined from the outset by a mix of the tough and the tender that served him well throughout his career.” Hoskins was born in Bury St. Edmunds in 1942 and raised in the Finsbury Park area of London.

He attended Stroud Green Secondary School, where he was labeled “stupid” due to his dyslexia. When he was 15, he left school with a single O-Level and worked as a lorry driver, porter, and window cleaner. He started but didn’t finish a three-year accountancy course. He spent six months on a kibbutz in Israel and two years tending to the camels of a Bedouin tribe in Syria.

What religion was Bob Hoskins?

Bob Hoskins identified as an atheist. His father, a Communist, raised him as an atheist, and he also described himself as agnostic. In an interview with The Guardian, Hoskins said, “I've got no interest in religion. I've tried, but I start laughing.” In a separate interview, Hoskins continued, I can’t really believe there is an old fellow up there guiding us all. I can’t really believe there is heaven and hell."


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