Short, bad baldie who rose to fame in The Long Good Friday, Hoskins was born in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk in 1942 where his mother had been sent to escape the Blitz. They couldn’t have enjoyed it too much because Hoskins was sent back to London with his mother when he was only two weeks old. He stayed at school until he was 15 and in the next 10 years took on a string of undistinguished jobs including Covent Garden porter, member of the Norwegian Merchant Marines, steeplejack, banana picker, circus fire-eater, trainee accountant, and even spent time working on a kibbutz in Israel. Amidst all that mediocrity there was a little light when he spent some time as a plumber’s assistant. Hoskins began acting at the age of 25, learning his trade in theatre before going into films. His breakthrough was in the aforementioned LGF before going on to such hits as Mona Lisa, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Mermaids and Nixon. Despite his ability and success, Hoskins couldn’t escape being typecast as short, bald guys. However this and his previous real-life experience came to his aid when he played what is undoubtedly his greatest role – as the world’s greatest plumber. Bob played Mario in the wonderful Super Mario Bros, surely the best film about plumbers never to have won the Best Picture Oscar. Unless of course you count Brazil, but then that also starred Bob Hoskins as a plumber. Hoskins was once asked if he had ever considered doing a couple of homers just to keep his hand in. "I wouldn’t advise it," he said. "I was an apprentice plumber once, burnt the boot of the bloke I was with. I was on a ladder and he was fixing a pipe up in the ceiling. I got a blowlamp, and set fire to his boot! That was the end of the trade for me".