Robert William "Bob" Hoskins, Jr. (born 26 October 1942) is an English actor, known for playing Cockney rough diamonds, psychopaths and gangsters, in films such as The Long Good Friday (1980), and Mona Lisa (1986), and lighter roles in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) and Hook (1991).
Hoskins was born in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England, the son of Elsie Lillian (née Hopkins), a cook and nursery-school teacher, and Robert William Hoskins, Sr., a bookkeeper and lorry (truck) driver. One of Hoskins's grandmothers was a Romani. His father, a Communist, brought up Hoskins as an atheist, and he now describes himself as an agnostic. In 1967, aged 25, Hoskins spent a short period of time in kibbutz Zikim in Israel (though he is not Jewish). In a recent interview, Hoskins stated that he owed his parents his 'Confidence. My mum used to say to me, "If somebody doesn't like you, fuck 'em, they've got bad taste." '
Hoskins's acting career started in London in the late 1960s when he was sitting in a pub enjoying a beer when someone came up to him and told him to go upstairs to audition for a play, which he did, and landed the role. His first major television role was in On the Move (1978), an educational series intended to tackle adult illiteracy, in which he played Alf, a removal man who had problems reading and writing. In the same year, he came to wider attention in the original BBC version of Dennis Potter's drama Pennies from Heaven as sheet music salesman Arthur Parker. Later, he played Iago in Jonathan Miller's BBC Television Shakespeare production of Othello.