A statement issued on his behalf said: "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. Bob is now looking forward to his retirement with his family, and would greatly appreciate that his privacy be respected at this time."
Hoskins, one of Britain's best-loved actors, known for his gruff bonhomie, has been working for more than 30 years. He first found fame on the small screen in Dennis Potter's Pennies from Heaven, and then in cinemas as a London gangster-turned-businessman in The Long Good Friday (1980).
Hoskins had leading roles in Brazil (1985), Mona Lisa (1986), Mermaids (1990), Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1992) and Super Mario Bros (1993) – which he described in a recent Guardian interview as "the worst thing I ever did".
Many will know him best for a series of adverts shot in the late 80s and early 90s for BT with his catchphrase, "It's good to talk". He teamed up with Shane Meadows for Twenty Four Seven (1997) and A Room for Romeo Brass (2000), and winning much acclaim for his role in Atom Egoyan's Felicia's Journey (1999).
Most recently, Hoskins was seen in Made in Dagenham, Snow White and the Huntsman and Outside Bet. On the set of that film, about the Wapping newspaper dispute in the mid-80s, Hoskins told the Guardian why he kept on working: "There's always someone who rings up and says: 'Now Bob, before you go, there's a cracking little swansong for you'."
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image: © James Laurence Stewart