Actor Bob Hoskins, who grew up in Finsbury Park, dies aged 71

PUBLISHED: 14:40 30 April 2014 | UPDATED: 14:40 30 April 2014

Actor Bob Hoskins, has died following pneumonia at the age of 71, his agent Clair Dobbs said today. Picture: Fiona Hanson

Actor Bob Hoskins, has died following pneumonia at the age of 71, his agent Clair Dobbs said today. Picture: Fiona Hanson

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Actor Bob Hoskins, known for roles in films such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit and The Long Good Friday, has died from pneumonia at the age of 71.

The star, who landed a best actor Oscar nomination for Mona Lisa, retired from acting two years ago after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Mr Hoskins was brought up in Finsbury Park in the 1940s and 1950s and has spoken openly of the poverty and gang violence he encountered living there.

He moved there from Suffolk when he was two weeks old with his father who was a lorry driver and his mother who was a school cook.

He left school at 15 and worked in a series of odd jobs including being a porter, window cleaner and lorry driver.

The star got into acting by accident after he accompanied his friend who was attending an audition at the old trade union theatre, the Unity in 1968. The director asked him to read the part of a thug and he proved a natural and stage success lead him into TV and small film parts.

His breakthrough role came in Dennis Potter’s 1978 series Pennies From Heaven in which he played the lovelorn sheet music salesman Arthur Parker. It was his portrayal of doomed London gangster Harold Shand in The Long Good Friday which made him a film star

His family released a statement paying tribute to him.

His 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.”

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