Bob Hoskins has Parkinson's disease, retiring from acting

Actor Bob Hoskins attends a photocall in Venice August 31, 2006. Hoskins stars in director Allen Coulter's latest movie "Hollywoodland", which is showing at the Venice film festival. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

(Reuters) - Veteran British actor Bob Hoskins, the star of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” said on Wednesday he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and was retiring from acting.

“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,” the actor’s London representatives said in a statement.

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

Hoskins, 69, started his career in the 1970s on British television shows such as “Thick as Thieves” and “Rock Follies of ‘77” before moving into bigger film roles, such as 1980’s “The Long Good Friday” and 1986’s “Mona Lisa,” for which he earned a best actor Oscar nomination and won a Golden Globe award.

The Suffolk-born actor became a staple face in the British film industry, often playing Cockney-speaking characters in both comedy and drama genres with his trademark gravelly voice.

His big Hollywood break came in 1988 when he played Eddie Valiant in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” a role for which he received a Golden Globe nomination. He then went on to play roles in 1990’s “Mermaids” and 1991’s “Hook.”

Hoskins’ most recent movie role was as one of the eight dwarves in this year’s dark fairytale “Snow White and the Huntsman,” alongside Chris Hemsworth and Kristen Stewart.

Parkinson’s disease is an incurable, degenerative neurological disorder whose sufferers include U.S. actor Michael J. Fox and former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali.

Reporting By Piya Sinha-Roy in Los Angeles Editing by Jill Serjeant and Leslie Gevirtz