Bob Hoskins dies aged 71

We're very saddened to report that the legendary actor Bob Hoskins has died at the age of 71.

Sky News reports that his agent has confirmed that the British actor - and star of many a cinematic classic like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Hook and Mermaids - has died of penumonia.

Hoskins started his acting career back in 1969, with - fittingly enough - a story as surprising and hilarious as Hoskins himself. Whilst waiting in the Unity Theatre Bar for his friend Roger Frost to finish an audition, he was handed a script and told "you're next". Not only did he get the role, but Frost had to settle for understudy.

From there he ventured into a series of TV roles, before moving into movies - with his first notable role in T he Long Good Friday (1980), before a turn in Mona Lisa (1986) won him an array of deserved plaudits, including a Best Actor Acamedy Award nomination, Best Actor Golden Globe, and a Cannes Award.

Soon, Hollywood called, and he stole the comedy show in Terry Gilliam's Brazil (1985). In what will go down in cinematic lore, he was incredibly close to nabbing the role of Al Capone in 1987's The Untouchables - and when Robert De Niro accepted the part, director Brian De Palma sent Hoskins a thank you note, along with a cheque of £20k for his troubles.

It was all pretty moot, as the next year, he went onto his most beloved role ever in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) - as the curmudgeonly Private Detective Eddie Valiant, who investigates a cartoon murder and ends up crafting one of the funniest and warmest comedy acts of all time.

The same generation will have him long in their minds as the conniving, hilarious boatswain Smee to Captain Hook in 1991's children's classic Hook .

Other notable roles included acting alongside Cher in Mermaids (1990), leading (undeniably guilty cult pleasure) Super Mario Bros (1993), reprising his Smee role in Neverland (2011), playing a psychopath in Unleashed (2005), and for nabbing a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe nomination for his turn in Mrs Henderson Presents (2005).

Throw in two directorial efforts The Raggedy Rawney (1988) and Rainbow (1996) which he also starrted in, and a late return to British television in The Street (where he won Best Actor at the 2010 International Emmys), and it was a career as diverse as it was celebrated.

While he officially retired in October 2012 after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, he was never far from film fans' thoughts.

We at Total Film are deeply saddened to hear of his death, and our thoughts are with his family and friends. He was a truly great actor, and will be hugely missed.