Bob Hoskins, the British actor most famous for his role as Eddie Valiant in the Academy Award-winning live action-animation film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” died Wednesday after suffering from pneumonia, his family said. He was 71.
Among the mourners were Hoskins’ second wife since 1982, Linda Banwell. In a November 2009 interview with the Daily Mail, Hoskins said Banwell was the reason he stopped drinking and said she possibly saved him from an earlier death from alcohol.
“I thought [my drinking] was a social thing but she got fed up with it and said, ‘’enough,’” the actor said. “She is very, clever my wife. She worked out how to get me to stop. She made me aware that when I drank I was being a complete pain in the arse. I probably wouldn't be alive without her. I would have drunk myself into a complete stupor and died.”
Banwell, who is in her late 60s, is a former teacher, according to the Daily Mail.
In a statement attributed to Banwell, the children she had with Hoskins, and Hoskins’ children from his first marriage to Rose West, the family said they were distraught over Hoskins’ death. The 71-year-old retired from acting in 2011 after revealing he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Bob,” the statement said. “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.”
Hoskins’ most visible role was as Valiant, a detective who despises cartoon rabbits yet decides to aid Roger Rabbit in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” the popular 1988 live action-animation comedy. As far as critical acclaim, his turn as George, a retired gangster, in “Mona Lisa,” garnered Hoskins an Oscar nomination for Best Actor in 1986. Hoskins’ other notable roles include Vivian Van Damm in 2005’s “Mrs. Henderson Presents,” which landed him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and Spoor in the Terry Gilliam-directed film, “Brazil.” His last role was as the dwarf Muir in 2012’s “Snow White and the Huntsman.”