Bob Hoskins retires from acting after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease aged 69

Hoskins said he would be withdrawing from acting after a “wonderful career”

The film star Bob Hoskins is to retire from acting after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at the age of 69.

Hoskins, whose screen roles spanned gritty gangster films to the animated Hollywood hit Who Framed Roger Rabbit, said he would be withdrawing from acting after a “wonderful career”.

The Suffolk-born actor, whose career spanned four decades, was most recently seen in Snow White & The Huntsman, in which he played one of the seven dwarves opposite Kristen Stewart.

A statement from his agent read: “Bob Hoskins wishes to announce that he will be retiring from acting, following his diagnosis of Parkinson's disease last autumn.

“He wishes to thank all the great and brilliant people he has worked with over the years, and all of his fans who have supported him during a wonderful career.

“Bob is now looking forward to his retirement with his family, and would greatly appreciate that his privacy be respected at this time.”

Hoskins, who built his reputation on the stage in the 1960s, won acclaim for his performance as Harold Shand, the East End gangster on the make in the 1980 underworld film, The Long Good Friday.

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His performance as a petty criminal who gets a job driving a high-class prostitute in the British film Mona Lisa earned Hoskins an Oscar nomination in 1987. A down to earth character in real life, after losing out to Paul Newman, Hoskins said: “The other nominees raised their glasses to him and I said, 'What the f**k are you talking about?’”

The following year Hoskins achieved a Golden Globe nomination for his role as a private detective opposite the animated bunny in Roger Rabbit.

Some actors have been able to continue working despite being diagnosed with the degenerative brain disease. Michael J. Fox was was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s in 1991 but went on to star in a hit sitcom Spin City before making his condition public in 1998. Although his condition has worsened, he continues to make guest appearances in the US drama The Good Wife.

In sport, the football manager Paul Sturrock, 55, revealed that he was suffering from a mild form of the disease in 2008. He continued to manage at Plymouth Argyle and at his current club, Southend United.

Sufferers include Muhammad Ali, 70, who made his most recent public appearance at the Olympic Games opening ceremony. The boxer was diagnosed in 1984 and needed assistance from his wife to play his role in carrying the Olympic flag.

Parkinson's is a neurological condition which is thought to affect around 127,000 people in the UK and has no known cure. It is often known for the tremors which it causes but other effects are include slow movements and depression.

Hoskins has appeared in more than 70 films since first finding screen success in the early 1970s, beginning with small parts and becoming a familiar face through his starring role in Dennis Potter's BBC series Pennies From Heaven.

He was famously on stand-by to play Al Capone in Brian De Palma's The Untouchables, until Robert De Niro agreed to take the role.

The director went on to send him a cheque for £20,000. Hoskins said: "I phoned him up and I said 'Brian, if you've ever got any films you don't want me in, son, you just give me a call'."

He returned to the small screen for a role in Jimmy McGovern's BBC1 series The Street in 2009, winning an international Emmy.

Hoskins - whose characters often rough diamonds with a heart of gold - is also known for his association with a British Telecom (now BT) ad campaign, featuring the line "It's good to talk".

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