Bob Hoskins dies aged 71
Xan Brooks: Bob Hoskins - five-foot-six cubic and bursting with brilliance
After getting his first theatre role by accident he only went along to support a friend at an audition Hoskins' screen career got off the ground in 1978 with Dennis Potter's Pennies from Heaven, a six-part series for the BBC; he played sheet-music salesman with a penchant for showtunes and extramarital affairs.
He then moved on to what is still his defining role The Long Good Friday, still the benchmark for Brit gangster thrillers, and one that still towers over the pale imitators of recent vintage. Hoskins' performance as aspirational hoodlum Harold Shand, ambushed by the Ira, was an absolute barnstormer, filled with instantly quotable lines and beautifully detailed performance.