Bob Hoskins Best Performances
His Most Memorable Roles
With a lengthy career spawning forty years, he reportedly stumbled upon acting by accident when he accompanied a friend to a 1968 audition where he wound up reading for a role that he later received.[ii]
He specialized in playing brutal tough men educated in the school of hard knocks. As hard edged as his characters could be, Hoskins made them human by way of just enough vulnerability at the right moments.
In addition to considerable critical acclaim, he has been nominated for, and won, a number of awards.[iii]
His resume includes over one hundred fourteen film and television appearances.
He has appeared in many high profile films. I happen to think that much of his best film work was in smaller films that took place in his native UK. Here are five of what I consider to be his best roles:
Hoskins played Ray, a professional horse racing gambler who joined a small group of pals to help spread the ashes of their recently deceased friend who positively influenced their respective lives. The film had a terrific cast, including Michael Caine, Helen Mirren, Tom Courtenay and Ray Winstone.
Hoskins firmly controlled Ray, a character who had several major secrets, including a passion for someone very close to his dearly departed friend.
Felicia’s Journey (1999)
Hoskins played Joe Hilditch, a factory catering manager with a secret and quite nasty past that involved befriending young women. He meets a young woman who has come to England from Ireland in order to find a young man who impregnated her. As the drama plays out, so does the sordid details of Hilditch’s past.
As George, he was an underworld thug newly release from prison. He manages to get a job as a driver for a high-priced call girl. Their relationship is difficult in the beginning then they manage to form a real bond. Problem is, she doesn’t feel the same about him as he does about her. This was easily my favorite Hoskins film.
Hoskins was Harold Shand, a prosperous London gangster who was wheeling and dealing towards bigger things when his gang and life were blowing up-literally. While murderously tough, he someone managed to be someone whom I could care about and was interested in following.
Hoskins had been acting for roughly eight years and was still relatively new when he played George Dobbs, a run of the mill thief who is released from just out of prison and comes home to find his wife living with his old friend and partner in crime.
Episodes revolve around the two men fumbling through various criminal schemes while vying for the affection of the same woman.
It is a bit obscure in the pantheon of British situation comedy but it shows an early glimpse of Hoskins’ talent.