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Exeter memories flood in for Bob Hoskins

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: May 01, 2014

Bob Hoskins

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BOB Hoskins, the award-winning actor who has died aged 71, is still well-remembered in Exeter where he spent the early years of his successful career.

He and his first wife Jane and their children, Alex and Sarah, lived in Belmont Road, Newtown, in the late 1970s, early 1980s.

He was known as a cheerful and friendly resident - the postman recalling he always greeted his mail with a welcoming “Morning Postie.”

John Lloyd, Exeter barrister and lecturer in law, said: “ When we knew him he was mostly working away but I recall a time when the road was campaigning on an issue, I think it was over allotments, and we met in Bob’s’ house.

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“He was beautifully histrionic, playing the part of outraged citizen.”

He was also a welcome customer at the old Bridge Cafe in Fore Street where the conversation often turned to his ambition to be in films.

There are also people in Exeter who will have been given a ride in a taxi by Bob. When he was a struggling young actor, regularly working at the city’s Northcott Theatre, he used to drive a taxi in the city to supplement his wages.

The Northcott was one of his first professional engagements in 1971. He appeared as Azdak in The Caucasian Chalk Circle directed by Jane Howell.

Known for roles in films such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit and The Long Good Friday, the star, who landed a best actor Oscar nomination for Mona Lisa, retired from screen work in 2012 after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

His wife Linda and children Alex, Sarah, Rosa and Jack said: “We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Bob.”

Among tributes to start coming in for was one Tweeted by Exeter Northcott which read: "RIP Bob Hoskins. He was part of our theatre in 1971 and performed in The Caucasian Chalk Circle."

The actor was also known to be spotted in Topsham where some members of his family currently live.

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