Suffolk-born actor Bob Hoskins dies at the age of 71

Bob Hoskins. Bob Hoskins.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
1:58 PM

A former stunt double to Bob Hoskins paid tribute to a “lovely guy”, whose death was a “big loss” for the British movie, television and theatre industry.

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The actor died last night following pneumonia at the age of 71, his family said.

The actor, who was born in Bury St Edmunds, in 1942, was brought up in Finsbury Park, London, and was one of the country’s most recognisable actors.

Mr Hoskins quit acting two years ago as a result of his ongoing battle with Parkinson’s Disease.

Richard Gauntlett, writer and director of Norwich Theatre Royal’s annual pantomime, was Mr Hoskins’ stunt double and assistant choreographer during the filming of Who Framed Roger Rabbit in 1987.

Mr Gauntlett worked on the movie for two months where he donned a fat suit to perform the actor’s dancing scenes and crashed through a brick wall on his behalf.

He said: “Bob was great. He was like a big teddy bear and he was ever such a lovely guy and very well loved. He was known for playing tough guys, but he was a really fine actor.”

“I think it is a big loss and he is one of those people who could have come back as an older man and played some nice meaty roles. It is sad when someone like that goes,” he said.

Mr Hoskins’ wife Linda and children Alex, Sarah, Rosa and Jack 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.”

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 his final role was in Snow White and the Huntsman (2012).

The father-of-four won 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 and an International Emmy Award for best actor for his appearance on BBC One drama The Street in 2009.

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