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British Character Actor Bob Hoskins Dies At 71

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's remember now actor Bob Hoskins, who died this week. He's probably best known for playing the private eye in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," opposite a very sexy cartoon, Jessica Rabbit.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT")

MONTAGNE: Bob Hoskins was a perfect big-screen gangster. He was short, but looked mean in a tall fedora.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Hoskins was a veteran of England's Royal National Theatre. He won over critics in the film "Mona Lisa." He played George, an ex-con who falls for the working girl he chauffeurs around London.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "MONA LISA")

INSKEEP: The role won him an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe.

MONTAGNE: The story is he got into acting by accident. He was watching a friend audition for a play when someone handed him a script. Hoskins landed the part. And although he was British, he played a lot of Americans. Oliver Stone cast him as a nasty J. Edgar Hoover in the movie "Nixon."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "NIXON")

MONTAGNE: Actor Bob Hoskins, in one of his many roles. He was 71 when he died on Tuesday. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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