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Bob Hoskins announces retirement after Parkinson's diagnosis

Bob Hoskins in The Street

Story by Jack Foley

BRITISH screen legend Bob Hoskins is to retire from acting after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

The 69-year-old actor, whose hits include Pennies From Heaven, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and The Long Good Friday, announced his decision on Wednesday (August 8, 2012).

A statement issued by his representative read: “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.”

Hoskins, from Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, began acting in the late ’60s but first started to attract attention with a role in the 1972 series Villiains.

His big screen breakthrough came eight years later, in 1980, when he played Harold Shand in the British gangster film The Long Good Friday, alongside Helen Mirren.

His stock rose still further in 1986, when he landed Golden Globe and BAFTA awards for his portrayal of George in Neil Jordan’s film Mona Lisa, as well as an Academy Award nomination.

While his versatility was underlined when he took the role of Eddie Valiant in 1988’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, which was a landmark film at the time for the way in which it blended live action and animation. Hoskins was again nominated for a Golden Globe.

And he received a third Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor for his role in Mrs Henderson Presents, a 2005 British comedy directed by Stephen Frears and starring Dame Judi Dench.

Other notable appearances included Smee in Steven Spielberg’s 1991 take on Peter Pan, Hook, appearing alongside Cher in Mermaids and playing Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev in Jean-Jacques Annaud’s Enemy At The Gates.

More recently, his role as a publican in Jimmy McGovern’s drama serial, The Street, earned him the best actor trophy at the 2010 International Emmys.

While his most recent role saw him cast alongside Ian McShane and Eddie Marsan as a dwarf in Snow White & The Huntsman.

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