Bob Hoskins, the British actor best known to Americans for appearing in such comedies asWho Framed Roger Rabbit and Mermaids, died Tuesday night in London of pneumonia. He was 71 and retired from acting two years ago after being diagnosed with Parkinson's.
The actor with the gravelly Cockney accent got his big break in the 1978 British TV series Pennies From Heaven. Hoskins also appeared as the band manager in the movie adaptation of Pink Floyd's The Wall. His short, swarthy looks made him a natural for tough guy or gangster parts -- though often he played them with a "heart of gold."
According to London's Telegraph, one of his favorite roles was one he didn't land -- when a deal to replace Robert De Niro as Al Capone in The Untouchables didn't pan out, director Brian DePalma sent him a check for $30,000 in gratitude. That prompted Hoskins to ask DePalma if he had any more films he did not want him to be in.
Most recently, he played one of the seven dwarfs in Snow White and the Huntsman.