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Actor Bob Hoskins dies aged 71 after bout of pneumonia

LONDON--British actor Bob Hoskins, known for his roles in films including “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” has died at the age of 71 following a bout of pneumonia, his family said Wednesday.

The gruff Londoner, who rose to fame in British gangster films in the 1980s and went on to have a long career as a Hollywood character actor, died in hospital on Tuesday night, they said in a statement.

Hoskins, who was nominated for an Oscar and won a Golden Globe for his role in “Mona Lisa” in 1986, retired from acting in 2012 after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Bob,” said a statement from his wife Linda and the couple's two children Rosa and Jack, and Hoskins's two children from his first marriage, Alex and Sarah.

“Bob died peacefully at hospital last night surrounded by family, following a bout of pneumonia,” said the statement issued by acting agent Clair Dobbs.

“We ask that you respect our privacy during this time and thank you for your messages of love and support.”

Hoskins left school at the age of 15 and claimed he only got his break in acting by accident, after being mistakenly called for a theater audition.

He began as a television actor and broke through into film with his portrayal of a doomed London gangster in “The Long Good Friday” in 1980, which won him a Bafta nomination.

One of his best known roles was as the detective trying to work out “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” the eponymous cartoon hero, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1989.

More recent success came with a Globe nomination for “Mrs. Henderson Presents” with Judi Dench, while his last role was one of the seven dwarves in the film “Snow White and the Huntsman,” starring “Twilight” actress Kristen Stewart.

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A Monday Oct. 30 2006 photo from files showing ast member British actor Bob Hoskins giving a television interview as he arrives at a gala screening for the film 'Hollywoodland' as part of the London Film Festival at a West End cinema in Leicester Square, London. Bob Hoskins, whose varied career ranged from “Mona Lisa” to “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” has died aged 71.

(AP)

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