Bob Hoskins joins the “Dead Video-Game Movie Actors” Club
Two days ago, 71-year-old British actor Bob Hoskins passed away after a bout with pneumonia. Hoskins became a renowned Hollywood actor in the 1980s and starred in many highly regarded movies. Like many others, I became familiar with Mr. Hoskins during his work in the 1990s. I first saw him as Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? which helped the British actor make a name for himself in Hollywood. In addition, I remember him well as Mr. Smee from Steven Spielberg’s Hook where he performed along-side Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams.
Hoskins’s most notorious role was as the lead of the 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie which he himself famously hated, going so far to say it was the worst movie he ever made. Even if the film is somewhat bad as an adaption, I still enjoyed Hoskins’s performance in it and I even gave him a shout-out in the Top-10 Video-Game Movie Actor Likenesses list. Hoskins was a great actor and he will be missed. If not SMB, I recommend checking out some of the man’s better received films instead.
Because Hoskins has now joined the Dead Video-Game Movie Actors Club, here’s a dedication to some other talent that has passed away with Video-Game films on their resume. He’s also the second live-action Mario actor to have passed away. Captain Lou Albano, former WWF wrestler, who played Mario in Super Mario Bros. Super Show also passed away back in 2009.
Other Dead Video-Game Movie Actors alumni
Probably the most famous death by an actor in a video-game movie was that of Puerto Rican actor Raul Julia. After an already extensive career, his career was actually catching a second wind in the early 1990s due to his portrayal of Gomez Addams in the Addams Family films.
Unfortunately Julia’s health began to fail him in 1994 due to various complications, including suspected stomach cancer. Julia played the role of the villainous M. Bison in the 1994 live action film adaption of Street Fighter. He passed away in October of that year following complications related to a stroke, only two months before the movie was due to come out. As a result, the film was dedicated to his memory.
Though M. Bison was Julia’s final film role, he in fact played a supporting role Down Came a Blackbird, a TV drama after shooting of Street Fighter was complete. Regardless, his performance is easily one of the best in said movie.
Trevor Goddard (1962-2003)
While not as high-profile of an actor as Raul Julia, Trevor Goddard probably had the biggest influence on the video-game character he portrayed on-screen. The British actor played the innitially Chinese-American gangster Kano in 1995’s Mortal Kombat, but with a distinctly Australian accent. Apparently Midway liked Goddard’s performance so much that Kano became ever there after an Australian.
Goddard’s most recognised role was on the television show JAG and he also played one of the pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl which became his last film role. Sadly, Goddard was also an habitual drug-user and passed away at age 40 from an over-dose of heroin, cocaine, temazepan and vicodin.
Hoskins’s co-star on Super Mario Bros. also left for the big Mushroom Kingdom in the sky four years ago. Hopper had a long and illustrious career in Hollywood. His career really got into swing with the 1969 film Easy Rider which he directed and starred in. Over the years he could also be seen in Apocalypse Now and Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.
In the 1990s, Hopper became a favourite villain actor for a number of movies which also included Super Mario Bros. Hopper’s son once asked him why he chose to play the part of Koopa in the film, to which Hopper replied: “So that you could have shoes.”
Hopper’s filmography is too long to do justice and the man kept working right to the bitter end. He passed away at age 74 due to complications caused by his prostate cancer.
Michael Clarke Duncan didn’t originally start out as an actor, but instead a body-guard. However, his amazing physique and equally amazing voice eventually lead him to playing a variety of roles in Hollywood and, contrary to type, not always as major heavies.
I was really sad about Mr. Duncan’s passing due to the multitude of excellent performances he gave. Of course, his most famous was as the miraculous healing death-row prisoner John Coffey along-side Tom Hanks in The Green Mile (a must-see), but he also played the villainous role of the King Pin in the Ben Affleck super-hero flick DareDevil. He also gave a menacing performance in the often derided, but actually pretty awesome Tim Burton remake of The Planet of the Apes.
Clarke’s video-game movie contribution was sadly small. He became the second actor to play the boxer/body-guard of M. Bison, Balrog, in 2009’s Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li. The movie itself wasn’t a roaring success anyway, and sadly Duncan didn’t get to do much anyway. Funny enough though, he shared a brief but hilarious scene with Peter Tuiasosopo in 2002’s The Scorpion King who in turn played Edmond Honda in the 1994 Street Fighter movie.
Duncan died at only age 55 following a heart attack.